Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary


The Kathmandu District Court is likely to make its ruling on Friday on the case over alleged rape against cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane.

The bench of Kathmandu District Court Judge Madhav Prasad Ghimire has heard both sides’ arguments over the past two days.

According to Achyut Mani Neupane, the chief associate prosecutor at the Kathmandu Public Prosecutor's Office, the bench may issue an order as early as Friday afternoon after a further hearing in the morning.

The hearing on trial over alleged rape against cricketer Lamichhane began on Wednesday.
Seven people, including four public prosecutors, argued on behalf of the minor girl in the opening day’s hearing. Government lawyers Laxman Upadhyay Ghimire, Krishna Bhandari, Suru Bahadur Pariyar and Mahesh Khatri presented their arguments on behalf of the girl. 
Senior Advocate Shashi Adhikari, and Advocates Sunita Regmi and Shanti Kafle represent the 17-year-old plaintiff in the case. In the second day’s hearing on Thursday, the defence presented their arguments, emphasising two issues. 

Eight advocates are representing Lamichhane in the case. The defence team include Senior Advocates Krishna Prasad Sapkota, Laba Kumar Mainali, Sabita Bhandari Baral and Raman Kumar Shrestha, and Advocates Subas Pathak, Sudha Rijal, Prabin Subedi and Anurag Subedi.
The defence argued that the evidence produced by the prosecution was insufficient to confirm the rape allegation levelled by the girl against Lamichhane. 

Raising a question over the girl's age, they also demanded that the court consider the one written on the birth certificate as her actual age.

As there is a common practice of reducing the age on the citizenship card, a birth certificate made immediately after birth should be considered the authentic document, the defence side insisted.  

The Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office filed a charge sheet in the court against Lamichhane on October 31, demanding a jail term of 12 years on the charge. The office filed the case under Section 219 of the Criminal Code Act 2017 based on the police investigation.

Lamichhane, who was away playing professional cricket league in the West Indies at that time, was arrested upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport on October 6.
On September 6, the girl filed a complaint at the Gaushala Police Circle, accusing Lamichhane of raping her on the night of August 21 The cricketer denies the charge.  

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