Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adoption Fund Frozen

CIAA freezes Minister Ojha's relief fund, bank account

Himalayan News Service


KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) today directed Nepal Investment Bank to freeze the account of the financial relief fund being operated by Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare Sarvadev Ojha.

Suspecting misuse of the fund after initial inquiry, the anti-graft constitutional body seized the related file of the fund and froze the bank account.

According to a source at CIAA, Minister Ojha operated the account while making appointments to the board. "The minister neither took consent from the Finance Ministry nor from parliament to operate the fund," the source added. Not a single public officer was appointed board member.

Ojha has been depositing amounts received from foreign donors and also using the account according to his discretion," he added.

A press release issued by the ministry today stated that CIAA had sought explanation as to why he had been operating the bank account without approval from the ministry or parliament. It has also asked Ojha to clarify under whose direction he had been operating the fund and the bank account in Nepal Investment Bank. The anti-graft body has directed the ministry to submit the file immediately.

Responding to a complaint that challenged the operation of the bank account and the setting up of the fund, the CIAA directed the minister to submit his explanation.

Ojha had recently taken action against member secretary of the Women Children and Social Welfare Council Chewang Namgel and transferred him. As Ojha had defied the Supreme Court order reinstating Namgel, he has been summoned by the apex court on Thursday. Failing to present himself, he will be held in contempt of court.

The Himalayan Times:

For more on the controversy, see Eyes on Money at PEAR Nepal:

And Prachanda Raj Pradhan -- head of the Child NGO Federation Nepal (CNFN) at PEAR Nepal:

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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