District court may decide on Mahara's fate today

Published On: November 4, 2019 07:35 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 4: Kathmandu District Court is likely to decide on whether to send former lower house speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara to jail or to release him on Monday after concluding hearing on charges of attempted rape of a female staffer at the parliament secretariat. 

Four attorneys took part in Sunday's hearing from the government's side in the case filed by the District Attorney's Office, Kathmandu while two lawyers from Mahara's side defended him at the bench of district court Judge Sudarshan Raj Pandey. 

The court adjourned the hearing for Monday after hearing from lawyers from Mahara's side didn't conclude on Sunday. 

The district court will decide on the fate of disgraced speaker of the House of Representatives, Mahara, who had resigned from the post last month, after hearings from both the sides conclude. 

Although 35 lawyers have registered their names to defend Mahara, only senior advocates are planning to take part in the hearing on Monday including former attorney general Raman Shrestha, former chairperson of Nepal Bar Council Sher Bahadur KC and others with a view to expedite the process. 

Mahara has spent about a month in police detention after his arrest on October 6 from his official residence in Baluwatar. 

The District Attorney's Office has sought seven-year and six months jail sentence for Mahara under the criminal code. But lawyers from his side including senior advocate Laba Mainali and Bhojraj Acharya argued that Mahara should get a clean chit citing an appeal from the victim herself at the court refuting allegation against the high-profile politician. 

The victim had changed her statement a week after complaining at the local police office in the last week of September about the attempted rape by the then speaker. Mahara resigned from the post few days after the incident following instruction from the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

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