Withdrawing cases against agitating forces’ cadres will take time: AG Shrestha

Kathmandu, September 24

Withdrawing cases against cadres of the agitating forces may take some time as it entails thorough review of cases to ensure that withdrawal of cases is in conformity with legal provisions and the Supreme Court’s order.

Government cases that are sub-judice in courts can be withdrawn only after the respective courts grant permission for the same.

Co-chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna told THT the United Democratic Madhesi Front wanted cases withdrawn against its cadres because the government had falsely accused them in criminal cases to dissuade them from leading or taking part in protests launched against the constitution.

The UDMF, which terms the constitution discriminatory against Madhesis, Janajatis and marginalised communities, continues to protest the statute.

“The government indicted those political cadres who were not even present at the incident site. Incidents happened amid a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 and police filed cases against 100 to 150 people,” Karna added.

The UDMF recently gave the names of 503 people, who were indicted in criminal cases, which the front wants the government to withdraw.

The three-point agreement that the Nepali Congress, the CPN-Maoist Centre and the Federal Alliance signed on August 2 stated that the government would withdraw false cases against the cadres of agitating forces.

Human rights lawyer Dipendra Jha said the Supreme Court had set parameters for withdrawal of government cases wherein the apex court stated, among other things, that the government can withdraw cases on a case by case basis by stating the reasons for it and ensuring that the absconders contest the case before the withdrawal decision is taken on a particular case.

Jha said the government should withdraw politically motivated cases immediately respecting the prevailing law and the court’s order.

Former vice-president of Nepal Bar Association Surendra Mahato said the government can withdraw any case as per Section 29 of the Government Case, Act, 1992, and as far as sub-judice cases are concerned, the government can withdraw those cases with the permission of the respective courts.

“The government can withdraw any case if it thinks that doing so  is in the broader interest of the country and if the action will help maintain social harmony. As far as the Government Case Act is concerned, there is no pre-condition the government needs to meet before  withdrawing a case,” he argued.

Attorney General Raman Kumar Shrestha said his office was still in the process of studying the files of the cases in question. “We will have to look into these cases carefully and we also need to abide by constitutional and legal provisions as well as orders passed by the Supreme Court regarding withdrawal of cases,” he added.

Shrestha said his office was verifying details provided by the Home Ministry and the UDMF.

He further said his office would have to verify the list of cases and ascertain that those cases took place during the Madhes movement and they qualified for withdrawal.

“If you look into the government’s recommendations on withdrawal of cases since 1991, you will find that the government made recommendations even in cases that did not qualify for such recommendations. There is a possibility that even the agitating forces can list those cases that were not related to their movement.  We need to carefully guard against such tendencies,” he added.

According to UDMF task force member Manish Kumar Suman, the  503 people were falsely indicted in more than 100 criminal cases, including during the Madhes movement.