20 NEA employees, five foreigners convicted

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    KATHMANDU, March 30: The Special Court has convicted 20 employees of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), including two former managing directors Rameshwar Yadav and Jivendra Jha, in the substandard transfer procurement case.

    Five officials of Chinese and Thai suppliers of the transformer have also been found guilty.

    Issuing its final verdict on Tuesday, the Special Court has slapped a combined fine of Rs 462 million on the perpetrators.

    The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had launched investigation into the procurement after the transformer malfunctioned and caught fire repeatedly. The constitutional anti-graft body had filed a case at the Special Court in August 2013.

    The joint bench of Justices Mohan Raman Bhattarai, Narendra Kumar Shivakoti and Mahesh Kumar Pudasaini slapped a fine of Rs 135,000 and jail term of three year and five months on Yadav.

    Similarly, the bench sent Jha behind the bars for one year and two months and ordered him to pay fine of Rs 80,000.

    Yadav was convicted in all four cases that CIAA had filed, while Jha was given clean cheat in one out four cases filed against him.

    Similarly, the then general manager of NEA Yugal Kishor Sah has been ordered to pay fine of Rs 95,000 and serve jail term of one year and seven months. The court also convicted another former general manager Chiranjivi Sharma Paudel and slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 and four-month imprisonment. Likewise, manager Kailash Prasad Atal has been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 30,000 and serve eight-month jail term.

    Other NEA employees convicted by the Special Court are Madan Raj Chapagain, Prajwal Pandey, Sendhu Yadav, Bharat Kumar Shah, Surendra Paneru, Surendra Raj Joshi, Shekhar Kumar Datta, Manoj Baral, Bidur Paudel, Suraj Prasad Sah, Rambijul Mandal, Binod Kumar Swarnakar, Nimesh Kumar Pokharel, Asta Ratna Shakya and Tripurari Prasad Singh. They have been ordered to serve three-month jail term and pay fine of Rs 15,000 each.

    Most of these employees had gone to Thailand and China to inspect the transformers to be supplied to NEA.

    Likewise, the court has convicted five officials of the supplier companies based in China and Thailand. Li Dao Gu has been fined Rs 214 million, while Hu Zheng Qiang has been ordered to serve two-year jail term. Similarly, Hongyu Ouyang has been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 58 million and serve one-year behind the bars. Ou Yangshi has only been fined Rs 58 million. Another representative of a Thai supplier has been ordered to pay Rs 129 million fine.

    The Special Court has given clean chit to other NEA employees Tikaram BC, Harish Bahadur Pal, Suresh Kumar Katuwal, Sushil Prasad Khanal, Narayan Prasad Chaudhary, Saroj Shrestha, Mahesh Prasad Acharya, Dev Sharma Paudel, Krishna Bahadur KC, Bharat Rupakheti, Pramod Rijal, Arjun Kumar Chauhan, Hari Bahadur Gasi, Bhabi Bikram Thapa, Mahesh Kumar Karki, Binod Kumar Manandhar and Dilliram Dahal. Nepali agents of the suppliers — Rajan Bahadur Bhatta and Amar Rajbhandari – also walked away scot-free.

    The transformers imported from Chinese companies Hu Bei Sunlight Electric Co, Shenyang Dongneng Electricity Equipment, SVR Electrical and Sichuan Dongfang Transformer were found to be substandard, while transformers imported from Thai company Sahabhant Electric were also of poor quality.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post