District Court Judge Ghimire hearing Sandeep Lamichhane’s case today « Khabarhub
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District Court Judge Ghimire hearing Sandeep Lamichhane’s case today

09 November 2023  

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KATHMANDU: The legal case against cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is currently underway, presided over by Judge Keshav Prasad Ghimire at the Kathmandu District Court.

This case, involving allegations of minor rape, has experienced numerous delays due to a shortage of judges. Despite multiple previously scheduled hearings, it is now the fifth case in Judge Ghimire’s court.

In less than one month alone, the hearing had to be adjourned three times, specifically on September 18, September 24, and October 12, due to a lack of available judges.

It has been more than seven months since the last hearing at the District Court in Kathmandu. Despite the case being assigned to a dozen judges, none of them have been willing to proceed with the arguments or deliver a verdict.

Even though the Supreme Court urged a swift resolution of the case, the Kathmandu District Court has appeared indifferent to the matter.

The case centers around a dispute regarding whether the alleged rape occurred, with most judges dismissing it based solely on the girl’s date of birth documents. On August 17, Judge Rajukumar Khatiwada ordered the verification of the victim’s mother’s date of birth.

Some judges declined to hear the case despite having the time, while others, after hearing the arguments, chose not to proceed. Some even requested the public prosecutor to postpone the case.

As a result, the final argument in Sandeep’s case has yet to be heard after eight months.

On September 6, 2022, a teenage girl filed a complaint against Sandeep, the former captain of the national cricket team, within the Gaushala police circle.

During the registration of the complaint, Sandeep was in the West Indies participating in the Caribbean Premier League. Following the incident, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspended him.

On September 26, 2022, Interpol issued a diffusion notice at the request of the Nepal Police when Sandeep, who was in the West Indies, did not return. He was arrested upon his return to Nepal on October 6 after the Interpol notice.

The Kathmandu District Court conducted a preliminary hearing on November 4, 2022, ordering Sandeep to be imprisoned for further investigation. Sandeep appealed this decision to a higher court, and on January 2, the High Court conditionally released him on a 2 million bond.

The High Court’s conditions for release included restrictions on leaving the country, reporting to the police if he needed to leave the Kathmandu Valley, and refraining from direct or indirect contact with the victim.

Both the Attorney General’s office and Sandeep Lamichhane appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision. On February 24, Sandeep filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, seeking permission to travel abroad to play cricket. The Attorney General’s office requested that Sandeep remain in custody for the trial.

On February 27, the Supreme Court, with a bench of Justices Sapna Malla Pradhan and Kumar Chudal, reversed the High Court Patan’s decision and granted permission for Sandeep to travel abroad, considering his status as a national player.

Publish Date : 09 November 2023 13:12 PM

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