Nepal | June 07, 2020

SC allows OAG to file review petition against its recent verdict

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Kathmandu, August 22

The Supreme Court today allowed the Office of the Attorney General to file review petition against the Supreme Court’s recent verdict that ruled against invoking Banking Offence and Punishment Act 2008 for cheque bounce cases.

A division bench of Justices Dambar Bahadur Shahi and Kumar Regmi had given this ruling in June in response to a case filed by the government against Nirmala Sodari, a resident of Kailali.

The SC had said that since Negotiable Instruments Act 1977 incorporated comprehensive provisions related to cheque bounce cases, adjudication of such cases should be done under NIA, not BOPA.

As the SC has accepted the OAG’s review petition, this case will be heard by the SC again and both sides will present their arguments before a full bench. “The SC’s permission for filing the review petition means that the apex court believes this merits reconsideration,” Spokesperson for the OAG Sanjib Kumar Regmi said.

A full bench of Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Meera Khadka and Prakash Man Singh Raut granted permission to the OAG to file a review petition. Regmi said the OAG was now free to pursue banking offence under BOPA as its review petition had been filed at the apex court and remained sub-judice.

If the precedent set by the division bench of the SC is upheld again, cheque bounce cases will not be a criminal case where the government will be the plaintiff.

Under the existing provisions, the affected party may file an FIR at the police office under Government Case Act following which the police can arrest the accused and carry out investigation. Remgi said his office had stated in the review petition that the SC division bench’s verdict was not inconsistent with its past precedent where it had said that when two laws could be invoked, then the latest law should be given priority. BOPA is the latest law governing the issue of bounced cheques.

Regmi said the philosophy behind invoking the latest law was that the intention of the legislature was best reflected in the latest laws. He said the division bench’s verdict contradicted the apex court’s precedent wherein it had said that if there were two laws governing a case, the victim would be free to choose any law to seek legal remedies.

Division bench of the SC had quashed the conviction verdict passed against Nirmala Sodari by Dipayal High Court on 11 July 2018.

A version of this article appears in print on August 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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