December 6: Five newly-elected lawmakers from the ruling coalition and the main opposition party will not be able to take oath of office and secrecy. Two members of lower house of the federal parliament and three members of provincial assemblies will not be administered oath of office and secrecy since they have pending court cases against them and are in the most wanted list of the police.
Laxmi Mahato Koiri elected to the House of Representatives from Mahottari-1 and Tek Bahadur Gurung elected to the HoR from Manang will miss their oath of office and secrecy. Gurung faces a corruption charge of Rs 310 million. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a corruption case at the Special Court against him and the case is sub-judice. The anti-graft body has implicated Gurung in a tender process for the Fun Park construction in Kathmandu.
Likewise, Koiri elected to the HoR from Mahottari-1 is in the police’s fugitive list for the murder of ASI Thaman BK. Koiri is accused of dragging the ASI from police van and killing him with spears and domestic weapons during the Madhes agitation. District Court Dhanusha had freed Mahato from jail on a bail of Rs 100,000. But, the Janakpur High Court had issued an arrest warrant later. He is still in the police’s most wanted list.
Similarly, Badshah Kurmi elected to Lumbini Provincial Assembly from Banke-3 (B), Rajiv Gurung aka Dipak Manange elected to Gandaki Provincial Assembly from Manang-B and Abhiram Sharma from Mahottari-3 (A) in Madhes Provincial Assembly will also miss the oath of office and secrecy.
Abhiram Sharma is also accused of his involvement in ASI BK’s murder. Case against him is sub-judice at Mahottari District Court. Elected from Loktantraik Samajwadi Party, Sharma has already held the Ministry of Social Development in Madhes Province.
Rajiv Gurung has a case pending against him at the Supreme Court. He faces an attempt to murder charge. He has been accused of trying to murder Milan Gurung aka Chakremilan in a restaurant in Kathmandu. The case against him has moved to the Apex Court from High Court Patan. Another PA lawmaker Kurmi has been accused of killing Nirmala Kurmi and her two sons in Nepalgunj. He is in the police’s most wanted list. He had land dispute with Nirmala Kurmi for a long time.
Legal professionals say that lawmaker is a public post and any elected member to the provincial assembly and federal parliament facing criminal charges will not be administered oath of office and secrecy. The law of the land bars people facing criminal charges from standing in the polls, let alone taking the oath of office and secrecy, say legal experts.