Lawmaker defends accused in 33kg gold smuggling case

Biratnagar, May 20

Province 1 lawmaker Lila Ballav Adhikari today pleaded on behalf of the accused SI Bal Krishna Sanjel in the case related to smuggling of 33 kg gold and the subsequent murder of Sanam Shakya in Morang District Court.

A lawyer said that Adhikari could participate in arguments at the court in line with the prevailing law, but it would not be appropriate for a lawmaker to defend an accused.

A Provincial Assembly member is above a high court judge in hierarchy. Adhikari’s defence of the accused has infuriated lawyers and legal professionals. “What kind of law he will make when he sits in the opposition bench?” a lawyer asked.

Adhikari’s pleading on behalf of the accused has put moral pressure on him. Adhikari was coordinator while formulating the Province Assembly Regulation-2018. The regulation states that lawmakers shall always act keeping public morality and character at the centre. His act of defending the accused has made a mockery of the law.

Adhikari refuted the idea that he had violated rules. “Since a PA member is not involved in any judicial committee, he/she can participate in court proceedings,” Adhikari added. He said he had defended the accused not as a lawmaker but as a lawyer.