Fake Bhutanese refugees scam: Judges divided on Khand's release
December 2, 2023 09:15 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 2: Judges presented differing opinions regarding the case of former Minister Balkrishna Khand, who faces charges for his involvement in the notorious fake Bhutanese refugee scam.
A division bench of the High Court Patan, consisting of judges Prakash Kharel and Janak Pandey, presented conflicting views over further decisions whether t to be made in the case. Judge Pandey suggested releasing Khand on bail of Rs 3 million by revoking the decision of the Kathmandu District Court, while Judge Kharel opposed granting him a bail.
The bench proposed to assign to the third judge to see the case, citing that they could not forge a consensus on the matter.
Similarly, the bench upheld the verdict of the Kathmandu District Court to remand nine individuals including former minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi into custody for further investigation into the case. The detention of the then Home Secretary Tek Narayan Pandey, Indrajeet Rai, Keshav Dulal, Angtawa Sherpa, Sanu Bhandari, Sagar Rai, Govinda Kumar Chaudhary aka Bikram and Sanjaya Sharma is to be extended for further investigation into the matter.
The court ordered the release of Bhutanese refugee leader Teknath Rijal on bail of Rs 1.5 million, citing that as a refugee leader, Rijal resides in Nepal and is unlikely to leave the country, suggesting no need to keep him in custody during the investigation, according to the High Court Spokesperson, Tirtha Raj Bhattarai.
The bench instructed the release of Sandip Rayamajhi, the son of Top Bahadur Rayamaji on a bail of Rs 3 million and Haribhakta Maharjan and Sharan KC on bail of Rs 1.5 million each. Naresh KC and Shamsher Miya have been asked to pay Rs 1 million of bail for the release.
Tanka Kumar Gurung, Keshab Tuladhar, Ashish Budathoki and Laxmi Maharjan are to be released on a general date.