Nepal | August 12, 2020

SC decision to set free murder accused former DIG kicks up row

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The recent decision of the Supreme Court to commute life sentence of former Armed Police Force deputy inspector general Ranjan Koirala to eight-and-a-half years has sparked furore.

Koirala, who had been serving life sentence, walked free after serving only eightand-a-half years yesterday, following the decision of a division bench of Chief Justice Cholendra JB Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC. Former prime minister and senior leader of Janata Samajwadi Party Baburam Bhattarai took to Twitter and sought ‘to summon Parliament session and move a motion of impeachment against the justices, who he said had nurtured the crime’.

“A former DIG, who murdered his wife, walks out of the jail waving hand like a statesman after causing the court to commute his sentence. A son of wealthy parents, who killed a woman walking on footpath in drunk driving, is released on bail. No case is filed against former inspector general of police for abducting a lawmaker. Isn’t all this a symptom of a failed state!,” tweeted Bhattarai, who is also a lawmaker.

Rabindra Mishra, coordinator of Sajha Party, said politicisation of judicial system had benefited several criminals, while sending innocent persons behind bars. “Political interference in judicial matters has never done any good for the nation, people or democracy. Perverting the course of justice means non-existence of humanity,” he wrote on Twitter. He said those who appointed the justices deserving impeachment should also be impeached.

Ram Kumari Jhakri, a lawmaker of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), underscored the need to review SC decision to commute life sentence awarded to former DIG Koirala. “The SC decision had badly eroded the belief that courts are just. This case should be reviewed to maintain people’s trust in courts of law,” she wrote on Twitter.

Independent National Campaign-Nepal, a social organisation, today led a protest rally in Maitighar Mandala, demanding that Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC be impeached for setting Koirala free. Scores of people holding banners and placards chanted slogans against the decision of the Supreme Court to commute murder convict Koirala’s sentence.

Koirala was imprisoned on 22 January 2012, the day he was arrested on the charge of murdering his wife Geeta Dhakal at their Budhanilkantha residence. After killing Geeta, he took her body to Tistung in Makawanpur district and burnt it.

Kathmandu District Court convicted Koirala of murder, condemning him to life imprisonment, which lasts 20 years. But the SC later commuted his sentence to eightand-a-half years.

Former PM Baburam Bhattarai has sought ‘to summon Parliament for impeaching the chief justice’

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


Former DIG of Armed Police Force convicted of killing his wife released from prison


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