SC orders release of two accused on bail

Kathmandu, May 18

The Supreme Court today ordered the government to release two Indian nationals accused in the 88 kg gold smuggling case — Nanda Kumar Pandurang Magarle and Ullas Dinkar Salungkhe — on bail.

The two defendants will now have to post a bail of Rs 500,000 each.

The order was passed by a division bench of justices Kedar Prasad Chalise and Bam Kumar Shrestha.

The court said that the two defendants were involved in the profession of refining gold and silver and   had repeatedly established contacts with another accused Ganesh Dutta Badu over phone, but the prima facie evidence did not indicate their involvement in the gold smuggling.

The court also said that the two other accused Ganesh Dutta Badu and Satya Narayan Agrawal, whom accused Nanda Kumar Pandurang Magarle and Ullas Dinkar Salungkhe had reportedly contacted, had already been released on bail. The court said that it had released Badu and Agrawal on Rs 500,000 and Rs 200,000 bail respectively.

The Supreme Court has quashed the Patan High Court’s February 22 endorsement of Kathmandu District Court’s verdict to send Nanda Kumar Pandurang Magarle and Ullas Dinkar Salungkhe to judicial custody.

The two accused who had been sent to judicial custody had filed a petition under Section 17 of the Court Proceedings chapter of the General Code (Muluki Ain).

This section is invoked when the accused claim that a lower court’s order is wrong.

The Metropolitan Crime Division had arrested two Chinese National Pan Weiming (G40892296) and Yang Wenbing (G40892297), who allegedly masterminded the smuggling.

Police had seized Rs 1,350,000 cash from Agrawal’s rented room.

Likewise, police also arrested 42-year-old Ganesh Datta Badu of Kante Rural Municipality in Darchula district from his Karyabinayak Jewellery shop in Ranjana Complex at New Road.

Police  had recovered 88 kilograms of gold strapped with black tapes hidden inside the rear parts of a parked vehicle in Chhetrapati in September last year.