Joint Secretary at the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) Devi Prasad Barakoti was caught red-handed for accepting bribe. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arrested him at his office in Sanothimi, Bhaktapur on Sunday (February 2, 2014). This is probably the first instance of the arrest of a special class bureaucrat on a corruption charge.
Chief of the Affiliation Division of the HSEB, Barakoti was caught while accepting Rs 40, 000 for the upgrade of a higher secondary level school to the secondary level. “One Sanjay Kumar Jha had offered the amount to Barakoti for the 10+2 level status of Saraswati Secondary School at Dhillabasela in Dhanusha after tipping off the Commission,” said CIAA spokesperson Sridhar Sapkota.
Acting on the tip-off, a Commission team had raided Barakoti´s office and arrested him as the serial number of the amount pledged to Barakoti matched with the amount recovered from him.
Jha was still at Barakoti’s cabin when the CIAA team launched the raid at around 4 pm, said Sapkota who also added that the accused would remain in CIAA custody for further investigation. He is likely to face corruption charge as per the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002.
While most of the HSEB officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, one of the Board members, Ghanashyam Pathak, told Republica that Joint Secretary Barakoti was implicated in similar misconduct in the past, too.
To cope with ever increasing complaints of corruption in the education sector, the anti-graft body had last week formed probe panels in all the five regional headquarters to act upon the complaints.