Deuba’s nocturnal arrest inhuman: Legal luminaries

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 28:

Legal eagles today said it was inhumane on part of the government to arrest former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in the dead of the night, who was appointed to the post seven months ago by the King himself. The legal fraternity was also unanimous that no body, like the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), could be formed as long as emergency existed and that the King’s proclamation could not be taken as law when there was a functioning constitution. “Deuba was no terrorist. The government could have easily arrested him in the daytime in public and media view,” said Nepal Bar Association president, Shambhu Thapa, at the Reporters’ Club. He labelled Deuba’s nocturnal arrest as “gross misuse of power”. The NBA president said existing laws bar law enforcement agencies from arresting a person after office hours. “There was no provision to arrest a citizen after sunset even during the Rana regime,” he said.

Deuba’s personal legal advisor Shri Hari Aryal said it was not necessary to appear before a commission which was formed not by abiding by the constitution but through a royal proclamation. “If I were Deuba, I would not appear before the RCCC,” Aryal said, adding that the commission had also interfered in the jurisdiction of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). Former CIAA chief Radha Raman Upadhyaya said Deuba deserved due respect from the state, even if he stood accused of having abused authority while in power. “A person is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Upadhyaya said.

Arzu Rana condemns arrest

KATHMANDU: Dr Arzu Rana Deuba, wife of arrested former PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, condemned the authorities for forcibly arresting him from his residence on Wednesday night. She called on all, particularly the international community, to “spread word of the injustice” and to lobby for the restoration of democracy and human rights in the country. Arzu described the arrest of her husband by five “truckloads” of policemen as a “testimony” of his innocence. “They forced entry into our residence, threatened me, my nine-year-old son and 90-year-old father-in-law with personal violence,” said Arzu, adding that it was against the law to arrest anyone after nightfall. Meanwhile, Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES) expressed deep concern over the arrest of political leaders while they were in a meeting at Bhojangriha Restaurant in Dillibazaar. On Wednesday, security forces arrested Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Chakra Prasad Bastola, Dil Bahadur Gharti, Subash Nemwang and Raghuji Pant. HURPES condemned the arrests as an “autocratic” move. The Nepal Bar Association also condemned Deuba’s and other leaders’ arrest. NBA president Shambhu Thapa and general secretary Madhav Banskota termed the arrests “illegal”. The NBA has sought the immediate release of Deuba and others leaders. The Supreme Court Bar Association, in a separate press release, also condemned the arrest of the leaders. — HNS