Apex court gives a nod to review its own verdict involving the murder of businessman Shrestha

Published On: October 2, 2020 08:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 2: The Supreme Court has decided to review its own verdict to give a clean chit to the then Maoist's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Brigadier Commander Gobinda Bahadur Batala, who was allegedly involved in killing a businessman Ram Hari Shrestha. 

A full bench of justices Dipak Kumar Karki, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Manoj Kumar Sharma on Thursday passed an order to allow reviewing the verdict passed earlier on Shrestha's murder. Shrestha was allegedly killed by the Maoist combatants led by Batala after kidnapping him from Koteshwor in Kathmandu.

A division bench of justices Tej Bahadur KC and Tanka Bahadur Moktan on March 1 had given clean chit to Batala and Arjun Karki allegedly involved in torturing and killing Shrestha. Amid public criticisms, the Office of Attorney General (OAG) had filed a review petition on September 11 on behalf of the government. 

The  OAG argued that the verdict passed by justices KC and Moktan was faulty and there were no legal grounds to give clean chit Batala and Karki in the case involving the killing of Shrestha.

Victim's family members have said Batala and his friends had kidnapped Shrestha from Kathmandu and taken him to the Maoist cantonment in Shaktikhor, Chitwan. His dead body was allegedly thrown into Narayani River.

While Karki was fined Rs 20, Batala earlier served three years and 15 days in jail in connection with the murder. The apex court's nod to review its own verdict passed earlier could take Batala and his accomplices to jail again for kidnapping and murder cases.

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