CIAA files corruption case agains Chief Secretary Aryal

Kathmandu: Following the filing of a corruption case by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) against Chief Secretary Dr. Baikuntha Aryal and 11 others, including high-ranking officials, the government has initiated steps to appoint an acting chief secretary.

The CIAA’s case, lodged in the Special Court, implicates individuals allegedly involved in irregularities related to the printing of excise-duty stickers, demanding a compensation of Rs 386.7 million. Chief Secretary Aryal has been automatically suspended pending further legal proceedings.

In response, the government is preparing to designate Lila Devi Gadtaula, currently serving at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, as the acting chief secretary. Gadtaula, promoted to secretary in November 2020, hails from the judicial group and is set to temporarily assume the highest bureaucratic post in the country.

According to sources within the government, contenders for the permanent role of chief secretary include Toya Narayan Gyawali, currently at the National Planning Commission, and Ram Krishna Subedi, serving in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Dinesh Bhattarai, based at the Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens, is also considered, though concerns have been raised about his performance in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Tek Narayan Pandey faces suspension due to involvement in the fake Bhutanese refugee scam, while Madhu Kumar Marasini is entangled in a corruption case, potentially complicating their chances. Ek Narayan Aryal, overseeing Home Administration, completes the list of potential candidates.