SC order flouted in dropping case against Maoists

Kathmandu, June 26:

The government has directed authorities to withdraw murder and looting cases pending in different courts against a few Maoists.

Nothing extraordinary, or exceptionable, on the face of it. But the directive flies in the face of a landmark judgment by the Supreme court.

The government decided to withdraw the cases— some of which were decided by the appellate and district courts and some of them are pending in higher courts for review.

The Supreme Court in the case of Dil Bahadur Lama vs HMG had ruled that the the government cannot withdraw cases pending for revision, from the higher courts .

On June 22, the cabinet had decided to withdraw the cases.

According to a highly placed source in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the cabinet has decided to withdraw 13 cases against Maoists cadres as the cases were pending in different courts — the Supreme Court, the Appellate Courts and the District Courts.

Citing Clause 29 (1) o the Government Case Act, 1992, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had recently issued a circular to implement the decision and the Ministry of Law today forwarded the decision to the Office of the Attorney General for its execution.

The cabinet had decided to withdraw a murder case from the Supreme Court which was filed by the government against Hem Bahadur Bhugel.

The government also decided to withdraw a murder and loot case from the Pokhara Appellate Court even after the court convicted Kamal Nath Khanal in the case.

Immediately after the toppling of king Gyanendra’s government, the Koirala government had decided to withdraw cases pending in various courts against the leaders and cadres of Maoists under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act.

The government had withdrawn over 400 cases from various cases leading to the release of the Maoists cadres.

“This is abuse of the Supreme Court precedent and the Government Case Act,” lawyer Dr Shankar Kumar Shrestha told this daily. “Now legal system is politicised,” he added. “It should be properly examined before withdrawing the cases whether it is appropriate or not”.