Tuesday, September 6, 2016

12 questions that the foreign envoys should ask CIAA chief

Some time ago it was reported that the CIAA was planning to brief the foreign envoys  about what it was feeling like briefing. There has been no news so far that the briefing has indeed taken place.

We yet do not know what it intends to brief. Neither do we know what issues the representatives of foreign embassies will try to explore in case it is held. We don't have a slightest idea as to whether such a briefing is compatible with diplomatic norms.

If the briefing is indeed to take place, hereby we have formulated a set of questions to be put forward to the CIAA officials by the representatives of the foreign envoys so that the doubt surrounding the CIAA's deeds will be clarified. 

1) You, Lokman Singh Karki, the chief commissioner at CIAA, seem to have taken a whole month to present yourself to the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case. That too seems to have taken place after some derogatory coverage in media about you 'absconding' the court. Why was it so? 

2) The Supreme Court has reportedly given multiple orders with same theme, that the CIAA should not venture outside its jurisdiction while pursuing cases of alleged corruption. Why is it so? Aren't you supposed to follow the first such order and not repeat the situation? You seem to have challenged the court's order as well as the rule of law in this issue. What sort of example are you setting for others as the chief of a constitutional watchdog?

3) After your aggressive approach against corruption, Nepal was supposed to move towards good governance. But why is the Nepal's Corruption Perception Index as measured by TI deteriorating relentlessly under your watch? The then CIAA led by a bureaucrat had successfully prosecuted people involved in huge corruption scandals including the Sudan Scam of Nepal Police that involved embezzlement of as much as 280 million rupees. You seem to have desisted from investigating mammoth corruption cases involving powerful people in the country. Is that by design? Also, success rate of the CIAA led by you, when it comes to successful prosecution at the court, seems dismal with over 90% people being acquitted by court. Is  that the result of mere incompetency or is there something more?

4) You have been widely alleged to have been imparting selective justice by targeting people who voiced against your appointment to the top job at CIAA. Weren't you supposed to silence them by showing diligence and impartiality in your action instead? Does it suit the chief of a constitutional watchdog to persecute individuals based on personal animosity?

5) Why did you resort to mental and even physical violence--mostly incarceration in CIAA's shabby cells--against the accused most of whom were later acquitted by the court? If you, the chief of the anti-corruption watchdog in the country, do not respect the human rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution, why would others in the country?
"It is alleged that you believe in swindling and plain thuggery and have an inborn contempt towards anything intellectual. They also bring many examples to argue that you have a vicious disdain for anything sophisticated and academic. They say your revulsion against intellectuals, and your paranoia towards and fear of free thinking and dissent was behind your ferocious assault on University Officials and other intellectuals most of whom were later cleared of charges by the court (cases of others are pending in the court but are expected to follow the same fate). They say this, particularly your shameless assault against dissent, is part of your grandiose project to revert Nepal to some form of authoritarianism. Your response?"


6) Many leaked documents show that the other state organs like the intelligence units of Nepal Police have been transformed into CIAA's subordinates and have been abused into spying the politicians and bureaucrats in random, while your mandate is to investigate cases of corruption that involve the govt officials. You seem to clearly overstep your jurisdiction here and people are accusing you of running a parallel state because of this among many other reasons. People have also accused that such arbitrary espionage and investigation is done to blackmail and bend the politicians and bureaucrats in your favor rather than to check corruption. It is claimed that the whole CIAA under you has been transformed into a huge blackmailing machine with the sole outcome being to reward one or the other commissioner or their relatives financially or otherwise. This factor has been claimed to the biggest hurdle in reform of medical education in the country. That, in turn, seems to have deadlocked the process of improving the health service in the country. You seem to be courting and protecting some of the worst offenders in terms of providing subpar medical education at horrible conditions. There were media reports that a medical college owned by your brother teaches students in abysmal conditions and they say the medical colleges somehow related to you are above the regulatory bodies. The delinquent private medical colleges have reportedly worshiped you through press releases when the agitation against you was at its peak. How do you explain it?

7) One document shows that you have held a meeting with two parties in a financial transaction and played the mediator for a transaction that is plain illegal given the past agreement between the selling party and the government. You along with your institution has kept mum on the issue even after the document made the headline story on the leading newspaper in the country. The document makes it clear that the Chief Commissioner at the anti-corruption watchdog has been part of a huge scandal. Your silence on the issue makes it even clearer. How do you explain it?

8) Newspapers have reported with supporting documents that you are involved in activities like transferring the public land worth huge sums to individuals. So far as we've understood, Nepal's constitution does not imagine that sort of power for CIAA chief. How is that?

9) Many people also allege that you believe in swindling and plain thuggery and have an inborn contempt towards anything intellectual. They also bring many examples to argue that you have a vicious disdain for anything sophisticated and academic. They say your revulsion against intellectuals, and your paranoia towards and fear of free thinking and dissent was behind your ferocious assault on University Officials and other intellectuals most of whom were later cleared of charges by the court (cases of others are pending in the court but are expected to follow the same fate). They say this, particularly your shameless assault against dissent, is part of your grandiose project to revert Nepal to some form of authoritarianism. How do you defend?

10) Over the past month, we have seen hugely negative coverage about you personally and the CIAA itself. You do not seem to have come up with a satisfactory response to the allegations. In our opinion, this has hugely eroded the legitimacy and credibility of CIAA itself and jeopardized its role as the anti-corruption watchdog. This situation is certain to embolden the corrupt people in the country. Don't you think so? If you think, what are you doing to restore the lost credibility? 

11) With all these issues, it is understandable that people are worried about the future of democracy in Nepal. When such huge scandals related to the constitutional watchdog are coming to public's attention, the silence of the politicians (including those who appointed you) on the issue is vexing. Is it because they are terrorized of the supposedly ruthless parallel government that you are said to be running? Or is there a ring of crime and corruption involving the bureaucrats, politicians and you and your cronies, in which everyone has promised not to speak against anyone else?

12) With all this information about your wrongdoing in the public domain and the general loss of confidence among the citizens, your continuity in the current position seems all but untenable. What are your plans? Will you face the impeachment motion in the parliament or resign yourself? We would prefer that you face the impeachment motion and every wrongdoing related to you comes out for the public to know. In that case, you would face the outcome and it would set a precedence for the people who would occupy this post in the future. Any plans to devote yourself towards the cause of good governance even after you leave the post?


Prepared by Jiwan Kshetry
On behalf of Solidarity for Dr. KC Alliance


PS: We have compiled all of the aforementioned documents proving the culpability of CIAA chief commissioner Lokman Singh Karki into a dossier and also translated it to English. We are ready to attach that dossier along with this list of questions. Our sincere belief is that, with these in hand, the foreign envoys can nudge the CIAA chief into right direction.


The dossier here: 

 

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