37 detainees freed on SC order

Kathmandu, February 17:

Terming their detention illegal, a division bench of Supreme Court justices Paramananda Jha and Rajendra Prasad Koirala today released 37 leaders and political activists, including former minister and CPN-UML leader Raghuji Panta, Bharat Bimal Yadav, Shyam Khatri, Chandra Nagarkoti, Laxmi Shah, Khush Bahadur Thapa and Surendra Pandey.

The Supreme Court order came in response to habeas corpus petitions filed seeking the release of the detainees, who were produced in the apex court today. The leaders had been detained for two weeks under the Public Security Act on the charge of disrupting the civic elections.

Meanwhile, a single bench of justice Gauri Dhakal issued show cause notices to the government on the detention of 51 leaders of the Nepali Congress, including Laxman Ghimire, Sujata Koirala, Shasanka Koirala, Baldev Majgaiya, Meena Pandey and Shekhar Koirala, ordering the authorities to produce them in the court in three days. Following the order, former president of the Nepal Bar Association, Harihar Dahal, said the bench had not told the authorities to produce the 51 leaders in the apex court during the hearing, though a court order for the same had been sought. Meanwhile, a habeas corpus petition was filed at the Supreme Court today, seeking its order to the government to release former deputy prime minister Bharat Mohan Adhikary.