High Court orders to produce report, petitions as govt attorneys appeal against Lamichhane, two others

KATHMANDU: Patan High Court, Hetauda has ordered to produce the report of Chitwan District Court, along with petition filed by journalists Rabi Lamichhane and Yuvaraj Kandel, and petition filed by the government lawyers in connection to the Shalikram Pudasaini case.

According to Spokesperson at the Hetauda-based High Court, Section Officer Amrit Ghimire, the single bench of Justice Tekraj Nepal gave the order to produce the report and petitions together for a hearing on September 12.

The District Court, Chitwan had granted release of Lamichhane, Kandel, and Asmita Karki also known as ‘Ruku’ on the evening of August 26. After recording their statements, the bench of District Judge Hemanta Rawal released Lamichhane and Kandel on bail of Rs 500,000 and Rs 300,000 respectively, and Karki on general date, until the verdict was passed.

However, on September 3, TV presenter Lamichhane and his colleague Yuvaraj Kandel filed a petition at the High Court in Hetauda seeking to quash Chitwan District Court’s order to release them on bail. Lamichhane and Kandel were present in-person to file the petition at the Court, which mentions that their release order be transferred to general date as the case proceeds, stating they did not abet Pudasaini to commit suicide.

Yesterday, the High Court Government Attorney's Office (on behalf of Nepal Government) filed a counter petition stating that Lamichhane, Kandel and Karki be sent to judicial custody while the case is on trial.

Lamichhane, Kandel and Karki had been arrested on August 15 from Kathmandu and taken to Chitwan for investigation after a video footage — recorded by journalist Shalikram Pudasaini on his mobile phone accusing the trio of abetting him to commit suicide — became public.

Journalist Pudasaini was found hanging in a local hotel in Chitwan, on August 5.