Nepal | July 12, 2020

High-profile culprits skip police custody on medical grounds

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, December 2

On November 5, last year, Rabindra Kumar Dhungana, 48, a resident of Tarakeshwar Municipality, died in police custody at Metropolitan Police Range, Teku.

Dhungana, who had undergone open heart surgery a few years ago, was a patient of seizure disorder, hypertension and diabetes. He was arrested a day before his death. He was arrested for not paying a loan amount of Rs five lakh taken from Surendra Karki, an assistant sub-Inspector of Nepal Police, who had lent Dhungana the money around two years ago.

The case was closed after ASI Karki offered Rs 2.7 million to the deceased Karki’s wife. Dhungana’s case illustrates how the general public are treated in police custody. They are totally insensitive towards the health condition of the general public who are sent to police custody.

But when it comes to high-profile cases, police become more sensitive to their health conditions and they are given a different treatment in police custody. A number of recent cases show that high-profile culprits avoid police custody on medical grounds

The ongoing case of spiritual leader Krishna Bahadur Giri, aka  Siddhababa Jagat Guru Krishnadas Maharaj, is a recent example. An attempt to rape case was filed against him on November 29 at Sunsari District Police Office. An arrest warrant was issued in his name, but before police could arrest him he was admitted to Biratnagar-based Birat Nursing Home due to some health complications. Police reached the hospital, but had to return empty-handed.

The court today decided to keep Giri in four-day police custody, but police were unable to keep him in custody as the hospital stated that Giri needed a few more days’ rest to recover from a cardiac arrest.

Another instance of police generosity is the case of Krishna Bahadur Mahara, former speaker of the House of Representatives. He was arrested on October 6 on the charge of attempt to rape. But within a few days of his arrest he was shifted from police custody to Norvic Hospital on medical grounds. He avoided police custody for a month until Kathmandu District Court decided to send him to judicial custody until the final verdict.

Yet another similar case was that of Naresh Thapa, younger brother of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa. He was shifted to Basundhara-based Chirayu Hospital showing some health issues after his arrest on September 8. Nepal Police’s Central Investigation Bureau had arrested Thapa suspecting his connection with an extortion racket spearheaded by gangster Samirman Singh Basnet from behind bars. He was later released on Rs 100,000 bail. The list does not end here. Police had arrested 25 persons for illegal gambling and seized Rs 26.7 million from a house in Kathmandu metropolis on October 26. Of them, 10 high-profile persons were moved to various hospitals after remaining in police custody for a couple of days.

Lava Mainali, a criminal lawyer, said although every individual who was in police custody had the right to seek medical help if required, but this provision had been largely exploited by high-profile culprits to avoid police custody. “I have seen many cases where police or the court  have denied medical help to the accused,” he added.

Sanjiv Raj Regmi, spokesperson for the Office of Attorney General, said it was normal for any accused to seek medical help if necessary, but police should be careful that culprits did not exploit this provision to influence the case. “Normally, the accused are kept in police custody so that they cannot influence or weaken the case filed against them,” Regmi added.


A version of this article appears in print on December 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

Putting the brakes on COVID-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls

KATHMANDU: The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 16,649 people and left 35 dead in Nepal as of July 10. But the full toll of this catastrophe has been incalculably greater. The health system has been overwhelmed and the economy has been greatly impacted. Women and girls have been disproportionately af Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...