Judge has no time for hearing Adhikari murder case, date fixed 15 times

Chitwan, January 10

Hearing on the murder case of Krishna Prasad Adhikari of Fujel, Gorkha, who was killed at the height of the armed conflict in the country has been postponed for the 15th time.

In the last 15 months, the hearing date was fixed 15 times, with hearing being postponed each time. The hearing date fixed for today has been rescheduled for February 25, 2018.

District Court, Chitwan, Information Officer Keshav Prasad Adhikari said hearing today was postponed as judge Kul Prasad Sharma who had been looking into Adhikari’s case was on leave. The information officer also said hearing on the case had been deferred repeatedly as the judge handling the case was deployed for the polls and also the hearing dates clashed with the time when the judge took leave.

Joint Secretary at the district court Gehendra Raj Pant said it was mere coincidence that the Adhikari murder case could not make it to a hearing bench so many times. According to Pant, this is the oldest case pending at the court. The murder case was filed at Chitwan District Court on 13 April, 2014.

In the past 15 months, three different judges have looked into the case. District judge Tek Narayan Kunwar, who is currently looking into the case, was scheduled to issue verdict on February 1, 2017. But the hearing was deferred as judge Kunwar was promoted as Judge at the High Court. During his tenure, the hearing was postponed five times.

Another district judge Kabi Prasad Neupane took over after Kunwar’s promotion to the High Court. However, the latter has no time to hear the case.

After the court heard arguments of both plaintiff and defence lawyers on 27 September 2016, judge Kunwar had ordered arguments in writing. Following this, the case was listed on the cause list on November 8, 2016, but was postponed till November 27 owing to the judge’s absence.

The verdict was then put off until January 9, 2017 as the judge had gone to the UK. The case was again put on the cause list on 1 February 2017 and then put off till 6 March 2017. The case was again put on the cause list on 4 April,  2017.

Adhikari was allegedly murdered on June 6, 2004 by cadres of then CPN-Maoist, during the Maoist insurgency. The deceased’s brother Nur Prasad and father Nanda Prasad had filed a case with police.

As many as 13 people have been made defendants in the case. Life sentence has been sought for all of them. The murder-accused had their statement recorded at the court at differed times. Of them, some were freed on general date while others were released on bail. One accused Rudra Acharya is overseas. He is yet to present himself before the court.

Krishna’s father Nanda Prasad died on 22 September, 2014 while staging a fast-unto-death.