Kathmandu, October 20
Kathmandu District Court today extended former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s police custody till October 23.
Mahara was arrested on October 6 after Parliament Secretariat employee Roshani Shahi accused him of attempt to rape.
Kathmandu District Court Judge Babu Ram Subedi extended Mahara’s custody after the second arraignment hearing today. Senior advocate Raman Shrestha, along with four other advocates, are defending Mahara in the court.
KDC had sent Mahara to police custody for 13 days, which ended yesterday. Police produced him today at the court as yesterday was a public holiday.
Mahara recorded his statement at the Government Attorney’s Office, Kathmandu, for nearly seven hours before he was presented at the court today. Chandra Kanta Khanal,
joint attorney of Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office said, “We completed recording the statement of the accused, but we may record his statement again, if necessary.”
Mahara was taken to the Government Attorney’s Office in Kathmandu on October 15, but he did not record his statement citing his legal right to remain silent.
Mahara, who is undergoing treatment at Thapathali based Norvic Hospital for high blood pressure and respiratory ailments, was brought from there for necessary court proceedings and was taken back to the same hospital after his arraignment.
Mahara was hospitalised a few days after he was arrested on the charge of attempt to rape.
Police had arrested Mahara from his official residence in Baluwatar on October 6 after Kathmandu District Court issued an arrest warrant in his name the same day.
Roshani Shahi, a nurse at the Parliament Secretariat, had lodged a first information report against Mahara on October 4. Shahi told Metropolitan Police Circle at Baneshwor that Mahara had attempted to rape her and had also brutally beaten her on September 29 in her rented room at Tinkune.
On September 30, Shahi told an online portal that Mahara had raped her. She said Mahara had come to her room with a bottle of whisky despite her objection and forced her to drink it and thrashed her before raping her. She had also said Mahara had sexually harassed her for years.
Mahara resigned from the post of speaker after the ruling Nepal Communist Party instructed him to resign as speaker and member of Parliament.
SSP Uttam Raj Subedi of Metropolitan Police Circle said investigation was in the final stage. “As Mahara has recorded his statement, we might need a few more days to investigate the case. We will soon file a charge-sheet at the court through the District Attorney’s Office,” SSP Subedi said.
If the court denies bail and sends him to jail, Mahara won’t be able to receive his pay and perks as a lawmaker.
A version of this article appears in print on October 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.