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SC voids murder case withdrawal

KATHMANDU, FEB 23 - In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday scrapped the government decision to withdraw cases filed against murderers of Kanchanpur-based journalist Prakash Singh Thakuri and Humla’s Nepali Congress cadre Netra Lal Shahi.

The court decision was in response to a writ filed by Janaki Thakuri, the widow of Prakash Singh, and Pyari Lal Shahi, the brother of Netra Lal. Both petitioners had demanded court intervention in the government decision to withdraw cases against the murderers and had sought action against the culprits.

Kanchanpur and Humla district courts had refused to hear the cases after the government decided to withdraw 349 murder cases, including that of Prakash and Netral Lal. The Maoist-led government had withdrawn the cases in October 2008 on the ground that the incidents occurred during the conflict period and the Comprehensive Peace Accord conferred on the government the right to withdraw cases involving crimes committed for political reasons.

According to the writ filed by Janaki, Thakuri was abducted by Maoist cadres on July 5, 2007. Responding to her writ, an SC division bench of Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Bharat Raj Upreti ruled that the government can only withdraw political crime cases that occurred between Feb.13, 1996 and Nov. 21, 2006, adding that Prakash’ murder didn’t occur in this period. Also, reacting to Pyari Lal’s writ, the bench scrapped the decision to withdrawing the murder case of Netra Lal filed at Humla District Court. According to the writ, Netra Lal was abducted and murdered by Maoist cadres in January 2007.

“The government first has to take permission from district courts and it is only the district court that has the right to decide whether or not to give permission to the government in this regard. Thus, the apex court does not have the power to decide on such cases,” concluded the verdict.

Posted on: 2011-02-24 08:55

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