KATHMANDU, Aug 18: Though one would associate the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) mostly with high-profile corruption cases that hog media attention, it is not that the anti-graft body takes up only such cases.
Several years´ records show that the trend of using fake certificates tops the list of corruption cases probed by the CIAA in the last nine years.
The number of cases filed at the Special Court (SC) by the anti-graft body against those using fake academic certificates is highest number among other corrpution-related cases.
Of the total 67 cases CIAA filed at the court during the fiscal year 2010-2011, 46 were related to fake academic certificates. Similarly nine cases each were related to misuse of state funds and bribery.
During 2009-2010, CIAA filed 27 cases in the court. Of them, 19 were related to fake academic certificates and five were related to misuse of state funds.
The grim is the picture when we look back even further. During 2008-2009, the anti-corruption body filed altogether 50 cases related to fake academic certificates, illegal earnings, misuse of state funds, causing loss to public enterprises and bribery. But, among them, the number of cases related to fake certificates was 36.
The Commission´s records show teachers, police personnel, civil servants and other officials working with various public enterprises have used fake educational certificates. For instance, of the total 46 certificate related cases filed at the court in fiscal year 2010-2011, 19 accused were teachers and 12 were are police personnel.
CIAA officials said that the commission´s study found the use of fake educational certificates is rampant. Most of those involved have used the fake certificates mainly for getting job or for promotions. According to CIAA Spokesman Ishwari Prasad Paudel said they file more cases related to fake academic certificates because their investigation into such cases is faster than into other corruption related cases.
"We can investigate and establish whether the certificates are genuine or fake comparatively in shorter timeframe than in other corruption cases that take long time to take a logical end," said Paudel. To establish corruption cases, the commission needs to study wide ranges of issues and various aspects related to the cases. "Without establishing the corruption charges with ample evidences we simply can´t file a case at the court. So the cases filed in corruption charges are relatively low," he explained.
If the commission is to investigate into any complaint of forgery [fake academic certificates], most of the time the commission can verify the fact just by corresponding with the concerned university in the country or abroad. "The reply from the university or the college gives concrete grounds for us to proceed with the case," he explained.