Corruption case filed against 19 individuals over irregularities in MDMS purchase

Kathmandu: Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has initiated legal proceedings against 19 individuals on charges of corruption related to the purchase of the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS).

According to Dhan Bahadur Karki, spokesperson for the special court, key figures implicated in the case include former Chairman of Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) Digambar Jha, former Senior Director Anandraj Khanal, and current Directors Dipesh Acharya, Surendra Hada, and Achutanand Mishra.

Furthermore, the CIAA has named Deputy Directors Suresh Basnet, Rewati Ram Pant, Sandeep Adhikari, and Kavindraraj Malla from various branches of NTA in connection with the corruption allegations.

The case, filed at the special court, seeks compensation amounting to Rs 919.9 million from the accused. The MDMS procurement was initially intended to be implemented as part of the government’s efforts to combat tax evasion associated with mobile devices imported through illegal means, as announced in the annual budget of Fiscal Year 2014/15.

Despite being scheduled for implementation in July 2015, delays pushed the process back to 2018. The controversy surrounding NTA’s separate regulation for MDMS procurement, highlighted by an investigation committee under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, has resulted in accusations of severe negligence and irresponsibility against the individuals implicated in the case.

The investigation committee’s findings revealed significant delays in the completion of tasks that were originally projected to be completed within approximately six months, further exacerbating the gravity of the situation.