The Supreme Court has ordered for the submission of all documents in the case against rape-accused former national cricket team captain Sandeep Lamichhane.
On Friday, a single bench of Supreme Court Justice Hari Phuyal ordered the submission of the case records while conducting a preliminary hearing on the review petition by the Office of the Attorney General challenging the Patan High Court order.
On January 12, the Patan High Court ordered his release on Rs2 million bail. Lamichhane came out of prison a day later – two months after the Kathmandu District Court remanded him to judicial custody for an investigation into the rape charge against him.
The apex court has asked for the case files in the star cricketer’s case, from the chargesheet against the accused to the bail order issued by the High Court.
In its petition, the OAG questioned the Patan High Court’s decision, saying that it was made without considering the victim’s complaint against the defendant, which was backed up by evidence gathered in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Section 67 of Nepal’s Criminal Code says that if the evidence shows that a serious crime was committed in a case with a sentence of more than three years, the accused should be kept in jail during the trial. The crime of raping a minor is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
Lamichhane, who has since been recalled into the national side by the cricket authority, will have to stay in jail until the final verdict on the case, if the top court rules in favour of the OAG. He started participating in the closed training on Thursday.
On September 6, a 17-year-old girl filed a complaint at the Gaushala Police Circle, accusing Lamichhane of raping her on the night of August 21.
Lamichhane, who was away playing professional cricket league in the West Indies then, was arrested upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport on October 6.
On October 31, the Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office filed a case against the cricketer in the Kathmandu District Court under Section 219 of the Criminal Code Act 2017, demanding a maximum jail term for raping the minor.