In the intriguing case of नेपाल सरकार बि ईश्वरप्रसाद पोखरेल समेत with Case Number: 065-CF-0001, the focal point of the corruption-related dispute was the construal of the erstwhile Prevention of Corruption Act 2017 and the extant anti-corruption legislation, the Prevention of Corruption Act 2059, in Nepal. The defendants faced allegations of amassing wealth surpassing their legitimate income, which transgressed the anti-corruption statutes. The pivotal legal question was whether the principles of Ex Post Facto Laws, entailing retroactive criminalization, were pertinent in this context. Additionally, the court grappled with the query of whether individuals not serving in public capacities yet availing themselves of a voluntary tax disclosure program were obligated to divulge the origins of their wealth in accordance with other extant legal provisions.
The court's pronouncements on these matters were as follows: Pertaining to Ex Post Facto Laws, the court ruled that their tenets, revolving around the retroactive characterization of acts as criminal, did not apply in this instance. The court opined that the defendants' actions fell within the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2059, and that the present law continued to address the same transgressions as its predecessor. The court underscored that the continuity in the nomenclature of the offense and the stipulation of penalties obviated the necessity of invoking the principles of Ex Post Facto Laws.
Regarding the issue of Wealth Disclosure, the court clarified that individuals who were not public servants but had availed themselves of a voluntary tax disclosure program were still obliged to disclose the sources of their wealth under other prevailing legal norms. The court indicated that the utilization of the Voluntary Disclosure Income Scheme (VDIS) did not exempt such individuals from complying with other laws governing the disclosure of the origins of their wealth.