Province-1 PA member, two others to face prison

Biratnagar, january 27

Biratnagar High Court has upheld the Morang District Court’s verdict to send Provincial Assembly member Gulefun Miyan of Province-1, and two others, to prison for forgery.

On 14 May 2017, Morang District Court, hearing on a forgery case involving PA member Miyan, her husband Shekh Shilabar, then Kadamaha Village Development Committee staffers Bijaya Kamat and Dipchand Mandal, had convicted and slapped them with prison terms and fine.

While the court had delivered one year prison term to Miyan and her husband and a fine of Rs 50 each, former VDC employees were handed down 3 years in prison each, along with the fine.

Dissatisfied with the district court’s verdict, the PA member had appealed at the High Court against the verdict.

While the High Court, in its verdict on Thursday, upheld the district court’s verdict regarding the prison term against three persons including PA member Miyan, it jacked up the fine.

However, the court has given a clean chit to Miyan’s husband.

As per the verdict, Kamat and Mandal, who have been on the run ever since the case was filed against them, will have to spend three years in prison and pay Rs 14,583 each, in fine. Similarly, besides the fine of Rs 14,583 imposed on the PA member, she will have to now spend 11 months and 5 days in prison, on account of the fact that she has already spent 25 days in custody.

As per sources, PA member Miyan’s father-in-law Shekh Dhaika Miyan had land tiller’s right over three bigha 10 kattha land plot belonging to Madhusudan Raj Pande in Katahari-9 (then Kadamaha VDC-2). Following the death of her father-in-law, the PA member, representing then CPN-UML, unknown to her brother-in-law Shekh Birbal, had managed to forge a recommendation by forging then Kadamaha VDC secretary’s signature and the VDC office stamp to get the land registered in her name, about 5 years ago. As the fraud came to light two years later, the PA member was arrested on 4 June 2016 on the basis of an FIR. She, however, managed to get out of police custody after 25 days, by posting bail of Rs 10,000. The district court had passed a prison sentence against the PA member and her accomplices over the forgery case, she had turned to the high court with an appeal on 4 September 2017.

A joint bench of Chief Judge Til Prasad Shrestha and Judge Yamuna Bhattarai upheld the district court’s verdict after hearing the appeal on Thursday.

The PA member has been on the run ever since the high court’s verdict, and so she didn’t take part in the National Assembly election last Thursday.

Meanwhile, with her conviction in a criminal case, her PA membership has been repealed, according to constitutional experts. “Now that she has been convicted under a criminal offence, her PA membership has automatically been scrapped,” said constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya.

“The party concerned can send another person to fill the vacant post.”

Commenting on the issue, Election Commission Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said the PA member will be expelled from the PA once his/ her office receives the court’s letter of conviction.