The Special Court has granted bail to Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini amidst the ongoing investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds related to the procurement of a national payment gateway system. The decision came following a bail hearing conducted by a division bench of Special Court Judges Kushi Prasad Tharu, Ram Bahadur Thapa, and Ritendra Thapa on Sunday.
Marasini, who was serving as the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies at the time the charges were filed, was among nine individuals charged by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). The CIAA accused them of allocating Rs 250 million for the procurement of the payment gateway system, bypassing standard procurement procedures. The anti-graft body sought to recover Rs 230 million from Marasini.
According to the charge sheet, the CIAA alleges that the payment gateway was purchased at an inflated cost without proper infrastructure readiness. The misuse of state resources, the CIAA claims, occurred through collusion involving officials such as the then Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Sanjaya Thapa; the Executive Directors and other officials of the National Information Technology Center (NITC); and Marasini himself, among others.
Marasini’s release on bail marks a development in the ongoing investigation, shedding light on the complexities surrounding the alleged financial irregularities in the procurement process.