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Arrest warrant issued against former NOC Managing Director Khadka

Staff Reporter Apr 17, 2023

Kathmandu : An arrest warrant has been issued against the former managing director of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Gopal Bahadur Khadka.

The joint bench of judges Yamuna Bhattarai, Balabhadra Bastola and Khushi Prasad Tharu of the Special Court on Monday issued the arrest warrant in connection to a corruption case filed against Khadka for amassing wealth illegally.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), in January 2019, had filed a corruption case at the Special Court against Khadka on the charge of amassing property worth Rs186.6 million illegally.

The court issued the warrant after Khadka failed to appear for multiple hearings on the case.

The then-Sushil Koirala-led government had appointed Khadka as NOC’s managing director on January 28, 2015.

He was sacked from the post on September 18, 2017, after five parliamentary committees and the Ministry of Supplies during their investigations found his involvement in irregularities while buying land plots in four districts for building oil storage facilities.

The CIAA on the chargesheet filed at the court had stated that Khadka had not only amassed property illegally but had also hidden property worth over Rs70 million in the names of other people.

As per the chargesheet, Khadka was found hiding the illegally amassed properties in the name of his wife—Sharmila Khadka—and Amita Lama Sodemba. Property worth Rs75.47 million was hidden in the name of Lama Sodemba. A house at CG Hills Housing at Hattigauda area, eight aana (2,738 square feet) land at Budhanilkantha, a Tucson car, amount paid to purchase a house developed by CG Developers, were hidden in the name of Lama.

Khadka has been a controversial figure as he has been named in a number of irregularities in different offices he had worked during his career in the government service.

He was accused of colluding with property brokers to purchase lands for the NOC in Jhapa, Sarlahi, Chitwan and Rupandehi districts at prices higher by three to four times above the going rates.

Similarly, the NOC under Khadka’s leadership had also allowed 17 gas plants to expand their branches, going against the commitment of merging the gas plants to make the sector systematic. He had also allowed the blacklisted company, Birat Petroleum, to import fuel while releasing Rs180 million in the company’s name.

He was also accused of a number of irregularities when he had headed the Division Road Office, Kathmandu. An audit conducted by the Office of Auditor General had found that the office, under Khadka’s leadership, had made payment to contractors for using new stones and construction materials without calculating the use of existing construction materials.

A probe panel led by then Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Jaya Mukunda Khanal had also pointed out irregularities in Division Road Office, Kathmandu, recommending additional probe and action against the culprits.

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