High Court upholds district court’s order against nine in fake refugee case

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Dec. 2: The High Court of Patan has upheld the order of the Kathmandu District Court to remand nine persons, including former deputy prime minister and UML leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, in the case of the fake Bhutanese refugees.

A joint bench of Judges Janak Pandey and Prakash Kharel upheld the order of the District Court, Kathmandu, to imprison Rayamajhi along with the then Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s adviser Indrajit Rai, former Home Secretary Tek Narayan Pandey, Keshav Dulal, Angtawa Sherpa, Sanu Bhandari, Sandesh Sharma, Govinda Kumar Chaudhary and Sagar Rai.

The hearing continued since Tuesday last week (November 21) on the petition filed by the defendants in the High Court demanding that the arrest order made by the Kathmandu District Court on June 16 be overturned and the case be heard on a general date. 

Although the trial ended on Thursday after hearing the case for 10 days, the verdict was made public only on Friday. 

However, Bhutanese refugee leader Tek Nath Rizal, former home minister Balkrishna Khand’s personal secretary Narendra KC and former deputy prime minister Rayamajhi’s son Sandeep were ordered to be released on bail. 

Narendra KC was demanded a bail of Rs. 1 million, Hari Bhakta Maharjan Rs. 1.5 million, Sandeep Rajayamajhi Rs. 3 million and Laxmi Maharjan was asked to be released on a general date.

Similarly, the Patan High Court sought a bail of Rs. 1.5 million from Bhutanese refugee leader Tek Nath Rizal for his release order. Tanka Gurung and Ashish Budhathoki were released on general date while a bail of Rs. 1.5 million was sought from Ram Sharan KC and Rs. 1 million from Shumsher Miya. 

Meanwhile, in the case of former Home Minister and Nepali Congress leader Bal Krishna Khand, the opinions of the two Judges Janak Pandey and Prakash Kharel contradicted and the joint bench ordered the case to be decided by the third Judge.  

Although Judge Pandey ordered that Khand be released on Rs. 3 million bail while Judge Kharel disagreed and ordered that the order of Pandey could not be convincing and Khand be kept in prison upholding the District Court’s order. Thus, Khand will remain in prison until further order.

Cases were filed against 30 persons and 21 of them were jailed after the Kathmandu District Court’s order on June 16.  

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