Bhutanese refugee leader, Teknath Rizal/File Photo
KATHMANDU: Patan High Court has granted release orders for five individuals on bail.
The Money Laundering Department and the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) played key roles in the release process.
Former Home Minister Bal Krishna Khans’s private secretary Narendra KC, Haj Committee Chairman Shamsher Miya, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi’s son Sandeep Rayamajhi, co-operative owner Haribhakta Maharjan, and middleman Ramsharan KC have all secured release on bail as per the High Court’s decision.
Notably, the Money Laundering Department released the aforementioned individuals on bail, with amounts halved compared to the High Court’s stipulations.
Ram Sharan KC, initially set at a 1.5 million bond by the High Court, was released on a Rs 5 million bond by the Money Laundering Department.
The High Court determined bail amounts at Rs 10 lakh for Narendra KC, Rs 15 lakh for Haribhakta Maharjan and Ram Sharan KC, Rs 10 lakhs for Shamsher Mia, and Rs 30 lakhs for Sandeep Rayamajhi.
Once these sums were deposited in the District Court, the individuals were transferred to the Money Laundering Department at Harihar Bhavan.
Subsequently, the Department forwarded the bonds to the CIAA, which, in turn, unconditionally released them with only paperwork.
In a separate development, the High Court has ordered the unconditional release of four others on specified dates, previously granted bail by the District Court.
However, Bhutanese refugee leader Teknath Rizal remains incarcerated in Central Jail as he could not meet the Rs 15 lakh bail set by the High Court.
Despite the release of his co-defendants, Rizal’s failure to post bail has led to his continued detention.
Responding to the court order, Rizal expressed his inability to pay the bond to prison staff.
The higher court upheld the Kathmandu District Court’s decision to jail nine individuals in this case.
Meanwhile, former Home Minister Balkrishna Khand’s application is still pending, awaiting a decision from a two-judge bench.
The bench, which has been split on the matter, is set to revisit the application before a third judge of the High Court.
In another development, Sandesh Sharma, whose custody was upheld by the High Court in the fake refugee case, has been transferred from Central Jail to Nakkhu Jail.
Sharma’s transfer aligns with the protocol of not sending pre-trial detainees outside the valley, requiring approval from the Jail Management Department.