KATHMANDU, JULY 27
Patan High Court has upheld Kathmandu District Court's acquittal of Krishna Bahadur Mahara in an attempt-to-rape case filed by a staffer of the Parliament Secretariat.
A joint-bench of justices Madhav Prasad Pokharel and Bimal Subedi ordered the KDC's verdict acquitting Mahara, the former speaker of the House of Representative, said deputy registrar and Spokesperson for the court Amrita Kumari Sharma.
The court's order states that the statement recorded by the victim, her statement recorded at the court and the accused's denial statement showed that the accused person was not found guilty of the crime.
" The court concluded that KDC's acquittal should be upheld. Nepal government's appeal cannot be sufficient," the court order reads.
Mahara was earlier released from judicial custody in Dillibazaar Central Prison, on 17 February 2020, after serving over 100 days by the order from KDC.
Though he spent most of the judicial custody period in Thapathali-based Norvic International Hospital.
KDC had sent Mahara to judicial custody on 4 November 2019. He was arrested by Kathmandu Police after Roshani Shahi, a staffer at the Parliament Secretariat filed an FIR on October 4, accusing him of attempting to rape her on the night of September 29, in her rented room at Tinkune.
However, after his release on 17 February 2020, the District Government Attorney's Office, Kathmandu, had filed an appeal at the higher court, against the order of KDC's single bench of Judge Ambar Raj Paudel.
Roshani, who had called police dialling 100, had recorded a statement with the police in her rented room stating that Mahara had raped her.
In a video recorded next morning with journalist Ajaybabu Siwakoti, Roshani had again reiterated that she was physically abused and raped by Mahara.
The House speaker had gone to Roshani's apartment along with police security provided by the government. Police had also gathered pieces of Mahara's spectacles and a shoe sole belonging to Mahara. They had also collected glasses and a bottle of half-emptied whisky which Mahara had consumed before physically thrashing her and trying to rape her.
However, after the news came in media, Roshani had turned hostile retracting her allegations. She later recorded a separate statement at the district court saying that police had coerced her into filing a case against Mahara, whom she considered a father figure.
Roshani, during the KDC's hearing, also stated that Mahara was innocent.
Soon after his arrest, the then Nepal Communist Party (NCP) told him to quit both the posts of speaker and member of the Parliament. Mahara was elected MP from Dang Constituency 2.
A version of this article appears in the print on July 28 2021, of The Himalayan Times.