SC bar on letting off heinous criminals
Added At: 2012-04-17 11:46 PM
Last Updated At: 2012-04-17 11:46 PM
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today barred the government from withdrawing serious criminal cases from the courts.
Though it upheld the authority of the Cabinet to withdraw cases lodged by the government prosecutors, a division bench of justices Kalyan Shrestha and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki
issued a six-point guideline limiting the authority of the government to withdraw cases of heinous crimes.
The executive has been exercising its power to withdraw cases against the perpetrators linked to the ruling parties, in accordance with Section 29 of the State Cases Act. The records of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General show that more than 1,000 criminal cases have been withdrawn since the restoration of democracy in 1990.
SC issued the directive while settling three writ petitions filed by Sukadev Yadav, advocate Gopi Bahadur Bhandari and Hari Maya Danai challenging three-year-old decision taken by Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Cabinet to withdraw criminal cases. The bench observed that the concerned district courts have the final right to decide whether a case is suitable for withdrawal or not.
The bench also authorised the Bara and Lamjung district courts to take the final call on whether to let the government withdraw murder cases pending before them. Ram Prakash Yadav, Kanhaiya Yadav and Dara Yadav were killed on 6 January 2010 and the case against 22 accused is pending in the Bara District Court. Another murder case is pending in Lamjung District Court.
The families of the victims had filed a petition after the Cabinet decision to withdraw the cases.
• The government cannot withdraw cases related to intended homicide, state offence, war crimes, cruel and inhuman nature of human rights violation, organised crime, crime against women and children, ethnic cleansing and cases against public welfare.
• The government authorities should consult the Attorney General and the prosecuting authorities before taking a decision while withdrawing cases from the courts.
• The concerned district courts should decide whether a case is suitable for withdrawal or not.
• The government cannot withdraw any criminal case pending in any court of law if the accused is at large.
• The government should compensate the victims as per legal provision while withdrawing any particular case. It should let the victims participate in the hearing related to withdrawal of cases.
• The government should reform its norms related to the withdrawal of cases passed by the Cabinet on 17 August 1998.