UDMF seeks withdrawal of 491 cases
Kathmandu, September 2
United Democratic Madhesi Front wants the government to withdraw charges against 491 people who were indicted during the Madhes movement.
A task force formed by the UDMF today met Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara and gave the details of 491 people who face criminal cases in the Tarai districts, urging the ministry to withdraw their cases.
UDMF task force member Ram Naresh Ray said the government had assured the UDMF that those cases, which had not reached the court yet, would be withdrawn soon, while it might take some time to withdraw cases that were sub judice in courts.
Human rights lawyer Dipendra Jha said the Supreme Court had set some benchmarks in the past whereby the government would have to complete certain procedures before withdrawing cases, such as testing the merit of each cases.
“The government can withdraw public offence cases without much hassle but as far as serious offences like murder is concerned, the government should take the permission of the Attorney General and the court where the case is subjudice,” he said, adding that if the defendants were absconding in any case, they should present themselves in the court after which a hearing could take place to determine whether or not it was a politically motivated case which qualify for withdrawal. “Only the politically motivated cases can be withdrawn,” Jha added.
Section 29 of Government Case Act, 1992 states: (1) In the cases where the Government of Nepal has to be a plaintiff or where the Government of Nepal has filed a case or where the Government of Nepal is a defendant pursuant to the prevailing laws, if there is an order of the Government of Nepal, the Government Attorney, with the consent of other parties, may make a deed of reconciliation or with the consent of the court, may withdraw the criminal case in which the Government of Nepal is a plaintiff.
Similarly, the UDMF task force also urged the home ministry to give martyrdom status to 16 more people who died during the Madhes movement, said another task force member Manish Kumar Suman.
Ray said the task force also urged the ministry to foot the treatment bill of those who were injured during the Madhes movement.
According to Ray, the government had made available almost Rs 3.5 million as treatment cost and it needed to provide additional Rs 6 million for the same. “We have told the ministry to provide the treatment cost after verifying the details from the hospitals where the injured received treatment and pharmacies where the victims’ purchased medicines,” he added.
Attorney General Raman Kumar Shrestha said his office received the names of over 300 people who had been indicted during the Madhes movement. Shrestha said his office was pursuing the cases and would give suggestions to the government on what could be done on those cases.
The ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre had agreed in three point agreement to withdraw false cases against the cadres of agitating forces.