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Nepali Minister sentenced to prison for corruption

02-22-2012 15:12 BJT

KATHMANDU, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Nepali Minister for Information and Communications Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta has been convicted over the corruption charges on Tuesday by the Supreme Court.

Gupta has been sentenced to prison for one year and a half and charged a fine of 8.4 million Nepali rupees (about 105,000 U.S. dollars) over corruption charge.

The division bench of Justice Sushila Karki and Tarka Raj Bhatta on Tuesday issued the final verdict.

Gupta is also the chairman of the party Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum- Republican. His Constituent Assembly membership and the ministerial post both have been automatically scrapped after his conviction in the corruption case.

Gupta is the first sitting minister to be convicted of corruption in the history of Nepal. He was charged with amassing illegal property by misusing the public post he held over the years.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed a case against Gupta at Special Court on March 20, 2003, accusing him of earning 20.8 million Nepali rupees (about 260,000 dollars) from unknown sources between 1992 and 2002 when he held public offices ranging from press advisor to then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala to ministers with different portfolios.

The Supreme Court has also revoked the decisions made by the Special Court that had given clean chit over the corruption charge to Gupta citing insufficient evidence to prove Gupta guilty of corruption.

In the year 2007, CIAA had filed a writ petition at the apex court, seeking review over the Special Court's verdict. Immediately after the court gave its verdict, the minister had surrendered to implement the court's final decision.

Talking with media at the court premises on Tuesday, Gupta gave his informal resignation via media as he could not meet the Prime Minister to give it in written form.

However, he expressed dissatisfaction over the court decision of charging him over the corruption case although he had already surrendered for it.

Spokesperson of the Supreme Court Srikanta Paudel said that the minister has been sentenced to 6 months prison over the corruption case and plus one year prison as he holds important public post.

Paudel added that as per the court's verdict Gupta will be sent to the prison in accordance with the decision of the court, the minister will be sent to the prison directly from the court.

Meanwhile, Gupta has already been sent to the Dillibazar Prison situated in the capital Kathmandu after being arrested from the court premises.

Gupta is serving for the Information and Communications in the current government and he had served in agriculture and communications' ministries in previous governments.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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