Kathmandu, February 9
The government has initiated the process of reclaiming 1.26 acres of land belonging to the Bansbari leather shoe factory, which had been acquired under CG Chandbagh Residency. By doing so, it is planning to acquit those arrested for embezzling it.
The Land Revenue Office, Kathmandu, issued a deadline to Sanjay Thakur, Chairman of Chandbagh Residency Pvt Ltd (formerly Champion Footwear Pvt Ltd), on Thursday.
Sanjay Thakur, along with Arun Kumar Chaudhary, the owner, and Ajit Narayan Singh Thapa, the executive head of the then Bansbari leather shoe factory, had been arrested on charges of land embezzlement. However, they were released on Wednesday.
Bhoj Raj Sharma Kattel, Land Reforms Officer, stated that the office staff, along with representatives from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the police, delivered a letter to Thakur at Grande Hospital on Thursday, instructing him to appear within 21 days. During the delivery of the letter, they also placed Tokha Municipality-6 Ward President Shanta Khanal under custody.
“There is no doubt the land belongs to the Nepal government. They took it using their influence and the due procedure was now followed,” Kattel told Onlinekhabar.
Since the land was sold during the monarchy period, the office has asked the land owners to come up with proof that they acquired the land legally.
As the police gear up to file a case regarding the illegal purchase of government land and its registration under an individual’s name, the government appears to be moving towards weakening the case by reclaiming the land and potentially acquitting the accused.
Returning the land would likely undermine the case against the accused and diminish the prospects of further legal action against those implicated in the fraudulent activity.
This strategic move aims to spare the Chaudhary family members from facing imprisonment.
Arun Chaudhary, who was among those arrested, has reportedly expressed readiness to relinquish ownership of the land. Speculations suggest that the government’s initiative to return the land is primarily to shield Binod Chaudhary, a prominent figure within the Chaudhary family, from being implicated in the land acquisition scheme.