Nepal | May 27, 2020

SC overturns high court decision against Golyan, frees him on Rs 10 lakh bail


Himalayan News Service
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Upholds all other decisions of Biratnagar High Court and endorses lower court’s order in case of 33 defendants

Kathmandu, August 2

The Supreme Court overturned the order passed by Biratnagar High Court with regard to only one defendant of 33.5-kilogram gold smuggling and Sanam Shakya murder case and endorsed the lower court’s order passed in respect of 33 other defendants.

A division bench of Justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Sushma Lata Mathema quashed BHC’s decision to send Golyan, a gold trader, to judicial custody. The apex court ordered to release him on a bail of Rs 1,000,000.

The apex court observed that the co-accused had implicated Golyan in the case, but prima facie it was not clear in what way he was involved in the case.

Given the other documents contained in the case file, it is not necessary to adjudicate the case by sending him to judicial custody. He should therefore be released on bail of Rs 1,000,000, the court observed.

The SC upheld BHC’s  order to send Sanjay Bahadur Raut to judicial custody, arguing that he had admitted contacting Chudamani Upreti alias Gore, the main accused, who has been indicted of running gold smuggling racket and killing Sanam Shakya.  The court also said Raut had been implicated by co-accused Bishnu Bahadur Khadka.

The SC endorsed BHC’s order  to send other defendants — Tularam Tharu, Rajan Thapa,  Hemanta Gautam, Sambir Prasad Tolange, Balkrishna Shrestha, Gopal Kumar Shrestha,  Amar Man Dangol, Lhakpa Sherpa, Shyam Bahadur Khatri, Punya Prasad Lama Tamang, Raju Maharjan, Chhiring Wangel Ghale, Bhujung Gurung, Doram Khatri, Birendra Man Shrestha and Kapil Raj Puri to judicial custody till the adjudication of the case.

The SC also endorsed BHC’s order to release  Madan Silwal, Madan Prasad Ghimire,  Raj Kumar Daruka,  Rajendra Kumar Shakya,  Bimal Poddar and  Imtiyaj Uddin,  Prabhat Agrawal,  Sayyed Akbar Shah, Thakur Prasad Dhungana, Ram Kumar Tiwari,  Rewant Kumar Acharya, Binod Adhikari, Motiram Shrestha, Balkrishna Khada and Thakur Prasad Dhungana  on  bail.

Those who were released on bail by lower court had been ordered to post a bail between one lakh to one million rupees. The SC also endorsed BHC’s  order to release Govinda Prasad Niraula, Bikas Raj Khanal, Balkrishna Sanjel, Prajit KC and Divesh Lohani on general court date.

The SC endorsed BHC’s order to release Niraula on general court date because main accused Gore had not implicated him. The SC also said Niraula was only implicated by co-accused Bishnu Bahadur Khadka but Niraula had refuted charges during investigation. The order was passed after two-week-long continuous hearing by the SC.

The case came to light when the body of Sanam Shakya, who allegedly was a member of Gore’s gang, was found in Morang district in March 2018. Gore has been accused of torturing Shakya to death on suspicion of concealing the smuggled 33.5 kg gold.  District Attorney’s Office, Morang had filed the gold smuggling case against 29 individuals including some incumbent police officers.

Charges accused face include gold smuggling, kidnapping, hostage taking and murder.

The SC endorsed Biratnagar High Court’s decision to send most of the accused to judicial custody, stating that the accused confessed to their crimes before competent authorities and were also implicated by co-accused.

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

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