The hearing in the minor rape case against cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane has been postponed. Kathmandu District Court spokesperson Deepak Dahal said the hearing in the case scheduled for Sunday had been postponed. A bench of Justice Padam Pandey was to hear the case.
According to Dahal, the hearing was postponed after Lamichhane’s lawyers filed a request to adjourn the proceedings on Sunday. The hearing on the case in the district court was also postponed earlier following a request from Lamichhane’s lawyers.
There is a provision that each party can only request adjournment of a case twice.
On November 9, Justice Keshav Prasad Ghimire had ordered both parties to submit their court notes within a month. After both sides presented their arguments Friday, the final hearing was set for Sunday. The Supreme Court had ordered that the case be promptly closed, but the Kathmandu District Court was apathetic on the matter.
The court has not heard the case in recent months, citing a lack of judges or other reasons.
On September 7, Justice Shakuntala Karki’s court had sought documents relating to the victim’s date of birth from the municipality from where her family had migrated. The court had previously requested documents relating to the victim’s birth from the municipality where her family currently resides.
Lamichhane is currently out on bail.
During the Patan High Court’s hearing on the appeal against the Kathmandu District Court’s order to remand Lamichhane in judicial custody in the child rape case on January 12, a joint bench of Justices Dhruba Raj Nanda and Ramesh Dhakal decided to revoke the order of the Kathmandu District Court. citing the absence of grounds justifying his continued detention. He was released on bail of Rs 2 million the next day.
The Patan High Court, while granting bail to Lamichhane, had set five conditions, including a ban on traveling abroad.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had appealed to the Supreme Court (SC) against the Patan High Court’s order to release him on a bail of Rs 2 million. The MPC, in its appeal, argued that the order of the Patan High Court to release Lamichhane on bail was contrary to the legal provisions and the interpretation of the SC during the hearing on bail in cases of a similar nature.
Section 27 of the National Criminal Procedure Act (Code) 2017 clearly provides for detention of the accused for any offense punishable by imprisonment exceeding three years of detention if, based on the available evidence, the accused appears to be guilty of the offense. offense or there is reasonable ground, based on such evidence, to believe that such a person is guilty of the offence.
But Lamichhane was released on bail despite clause 3 (d) of section 219 of the National Criminal Act (Code) 2017, which states that a person who commits rape is liable to imprisonment from 10 to 12 years if the woman is aged 16 or over, but under 18. The victim in this case is 17 years old.
Lamichhane had also requested the SC to be allowed to travel with the national team going to UAE to play the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 matches against UAE and Papua New -Guinea at the end of February.
The joint bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Kumar Chudal, after conducting a joint hearing of Lamichhane’s petition and the MPC’s appeal, had on February 27 ordered to allow Lamichhane to travel to the UAE. The Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office (DGAO) had filed a complaint against Lamichhane, accusing him of raping a minor.
Kathmandu Police District and Gaushala Metropolitan Police Circle submitted the investigation report to the DGAO on October 21 after completing their joint investigation against Lamichhane. However, no case could be filed against him because of the Tihar holiday. Police had investigated Lamichhane under Section 219 of the National Criminal Act (Code) 2017 after a 17-year-old girl filed a rape complaint against him.
The DGAO in Kathmandu has sought a prison term of up to 12 years for Lamichhane in accordance with clause 3 (d) of Article 219, which states that a person who commits rape is liable to punishment imprisonment of 10 to 12 years if the woman is 16 years or older but less than 18 years old. He also demanded compensation for the victim.
Lamichhane denied the rape allegations in his statements to the DGAO and the police. He admitted to staying with the girl in the same room at a hotel in Kathmandu on August 21. But he said the girl slept on the bed and he on a chair that night.
Lamichhane, a former captain of the Nepal cricket team, was accused of repeatedly raping a minor in a hotel room in Kathmandu on August 21.
A 17-year-old girl filed a complaint of rape against Lamichhane at the Gaushala police circle on September 6. The girl complained that Lamichhane took her to different places in Bhaktapur and Kathmandu on August 21, a day before Lamichhane left for the bilateral series with Kenya. She accused Lamichhane of raping her repeatedly in room number 305 of a hotel in Ward Number 9 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City that night.
Police also collected CCTV footage of the night from the hotel. The footage shows Lamichhane had stayed at the hotel for seven hours. The girl claimed in her complaint that she had gone to Nagarkot with Lamichhane on August 17 after being introduced to him through a friend.
Lamichhane left to play in the Caribbean Premier League on August 22 after leading the team to a 3-2 win in the five-match Twenty20 series against Kenya. Rohit Kumar Paudel then led the Nepal One-Day team in his absence. An arrest warrant was issued for Lamichhane on September 8 and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspended him from the national team the same day after the arrest warrant was issued.
The Nepal Police also issued a broadcast notice against him through Interpol on September 26.
Section 219(2) of the National Penal Law (Code) 2017 states: “When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent or with a girl under eighteen years of age even with her consent , the man will be considered as an individual. commit rape on such a woman or girl.