KATHMANDU : An investigation conducted by the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has found that the Bagmati zonal office of Department of Transportation Management (DoTM) issued 770 licenses illegally in the past six months alone.
Following the investigation, the CIAA has filed corruption case against 16 individuals, including nine officials of the DoTM zonal office and seven middlemen, at the Special Court on Monday.
According to CIAA spokesperson Shreedhar Sapkota, the zonal office had issued 197 driving licenses to those who failed trial examinations.
Likewise, 573 individuals were provided driving licenses illegally by making illegal arrangements for them to appear in trial examinations in less than three months after failing the trails.
As per the existing rule, an individual cannot apply for driving licenses at least for three months after failing the trial once.
“It is an alarming finding since 770 driving licenses were issued illegally in the past six months from a single authority,” said Sapkota. “We have filed a case against 16 individuals now. We would obviously conduct further investigation ,” he added.
Following the investigation, the CIAA has also asked the DoTM to immediately scrap 197 driving licenses given to those who failed the trials.
“We had been receiving complaints that people failed in trials were also receiving driving licenses. As representatives of the traffic police are included in the examination process, the CIAA had sought documents we have,” said DIG Keshav Adhikari, chief of the Metropolitan Police, Traffic Division.
Meanwhile, the Traffic Division had also handed over 306 fake driving licenses to the CIAA. According to CIAA Spokesperson Sapkota, these fake licenses have been sent to the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police for further action.
“Drivers with fake licenses and illegally acquired licenses could create havoc in the streets,” added DIG Adhikari.
Following the investigation, the CIAA has implicated then Acting Chief of the office Ramdutta Bhatta, Engineer Harish Bhatta, Officers Rameshwar Aryal, Bal Kumar Khatiwada, Rajesh Pachhai Maharjan and Junior Officials Sanjib Neupane, Dilip Singh Dhami, Pushkar Chandra Ghimire and Rajan Babu Rimal.
The CIAA has filed the corruption case at the Special Court to all the officials along with middlemen Ramesh Tamang, Samsher Bahadur Thing, Basanta Kumar Karki, Amar Mani Baral, Pravat Pathak, Dadhiram Subedi and Aang Dawa Sherpa.
The CIAA has also demanded for claimed amount of Rs 5.37 million from the officials and the middlemen.
“The department is actively monitoring activities at the offices under it. We have strictly asked staffers to follow rules and regulation,” said DoTM Director and Spokesperson Mukti KC.
“We are yet to get an official letter, but we have known that the CIAA has filed a case against our nine officials. If anyone has worked against the law, he should be punished as per the law,” he added.
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