VAW cases settled out of court in Bajura

Bajura, September 28

Judicial committees of the local levels in Bajura have settled incidents related to violence against women in an extrajudicial manner.

An unwed girl had given birth to a baby at Swamikartika Rural Municipality two months ago. She was in a relationship with a married man of Jagannath Rural Municipality. The man went out of the girl’s contact after the baby was born.

The girl approached the coordinator of the judicial committee as well as the vice-chair of Jagganath Rural Municipality Aina Giri. The Giri-led team then settled the issue and the girl was provided Rs 200,000 in compensation.

District attorney Nabin Kumar Bhatta said such cases should not be settled by the judicial committee at the local level. “It is illegal to settle a case in that manner,” he added. Bhatta said the local judicial committee should have sent the case to the court, but it did not do so.

“The persons involved in settling the case at the local level should face action,” he added.

Meanwhile, vice-chair Giri said she was unaware which case had to be settled in the court. “I  settled the case though advice taken from  knowledgeable people of the village,” she added.

Similarly, a girl from Gaumul Rural Municipality was raped by a boy and she gave birth to a baby three months ago. The girl had piled pressure on the boy to accept her and the newborn, but the boy did not.

Later, local leaders and right activists had settled the issue at the local level after payment of Rs 60,000 was made to the victim.

Many such cases in Bajura have been settled at the local level and these cases are not allowed to reach the court.

Vice-chair of Swamikartika Rural Municipality and also the coordinator of the judicial committee Nima Budha said she was quite unaware of the law.

“I have taken advice from the judicial committee and rural municipality chair to resolve local issues,” she added.

Advocate Gagan Rawal said incidents of rape and other cases were settled out of court in Bajura. “Some cases reach the court if they cannot be settled at the local level,” he said.

Lawyer Bhim KC said incidents of violence against women were being settled in the villages by threatening the victims.