August 14: The Supreme Court has issued an order in the name of the government to submit a report on the status of government-owned vehicles that are lying unused in junkyards of government offices.
A division bench of Supreme Court justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Hari Prasad Phuyal on Wednesday (August 12) issued the order seeking detailed information of such vehicles and the government’s plan to manage them. The apex court has asked the government to submit the report within six months.
The Supreme Court issued the order in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Padam Shrestha on August 3. In the petition, advocate Shrestha argues that the government has been dumping vehicles at the junkyard although they can be used after repair. The petitioner has also alleged of financial irregularities and misuse of state coffers in procuring new vehicles when the discarded vehicles are in condition to operate.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers as well as 21 other ministries have been made defendants in the case.
In the petition, advocate Shrestha had demanded a mandamus order for keeping proper data of such vehicles and operating those that are fit for use after repair. The vehicles that are not useable should be auctioned and the money deposited in the state coffers, reads the petition.
The bench noted that the issues raised by the petitioner are of serious nature and of public importance and therefore concluded that the matter needs a detailed study.
The apex court has also ordered the government to form a probe committee having representation of concerned stakeholders. The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has been asked to foot the bill for the study.
Advocate Shrestha says that the government has been misusing fund from the state coffers by spending millions of rupees for vehicles every year despite having adequate number of vehicles at its disposal. He pointed out to the report of the Auditor General’s Office that has clearly recommended the government not to purchase any new vehicle for a certain period but the government has been ignoring the report.