Apex court directive on out-of-court settlement of cases

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court has said that corruption and bribery cases cannot be settled out of the court with the mutual consent of the parties in conflict.

A three-member bench comprising Justices Damodar Prasad Sharma, Tahir Ali Ansari and Rajendra Prasad Koirala set the precedent recently.

The bench has issued circulars to all 16 appellate courts stating that such cases cannot be settled out of the court as per the mutual consent of the parties. The bench, however, said that except the above mentioned cases, other cases could be settled with the compromise and consent of the parties' plaintiffs and defendants at any level of court by paying necessary court fee.

The bench has issued circulars to the appellate courts to uphold the out of court settlement of such cases under the purview of Section 182 and 183 of the Court Management Chapter of Muluki Ain. The bench also observed that the courts should inspire the court users for settling cases.

The bench was responding to a case filed by Tekendra Singh Thakuri, a lower secondary level teacher of Shreeram Secondary School, Baijanathpur, Banke District. The Employees' Provident Central Office, Pulchowk, Lalitpur had prosecuted the teacher for receiving Rs 1,03,200 in a fraudulent manner while it was supposed to issue in the name of Ramesh Prasad.

The teacher was prosecuted in the Kathmandu District Court with forgery charge demanding to return the amount. In a response, the KDC had imposed a fine as per Section 1, 4 and 7 of the Fraudulent Chapter of Muluki Ain.

Consequently, the teacher moved the Appellate Court challenging the KDC verdict. The petition was lodged on behalf of the prosecutor stating that since the lost amount was already recovered from the teacher they want to settled the case with the consent of the parties. Since when the Patan Appellate Court did not grant out of court settlement, Thakuri had sought SC’s intervention.