Hearing on petition against Home Minister Lamichhane postponed today as well

Published On: May 30, 2024 01:46 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 30: The hearing on the writ petition filed against Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane was adjourned today as well. Earlier, the hearing was adjourned yesterday (Wednesday) after petitioner Anupam Bhattarai filed an application to adjourn the hearing. The hearing was postponed at Bhattarai’s request today as well. 

Supreme Court (SC) Information Officer Govinda Prasad Ghimire said that the hearing of the writ petition has been adjourned even today after the petitioner applied for postponement of the hearing due to the lack of preparation.

According to the petitioner Bhattarai, he requested for postponing the hearing on the case after it was scheduled for a hearing by the bench of Justice Suni Kumar Pokharel under whose bench the case was scheduled for a hearing yesterday as well. 

Bhattarai has claimed that he filed an application requesting for postponing the hearing because Justice Sunil Kumar Pokharel was a legal adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Lamichhane when he was an advocate and this could pose a conflict of interest.

Earlier on Monday, Bhattarai filed a writ petition at the SC, demanding that Lamichhane be suspended from the post during the course of investigation.

The petitioner argued that the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister roles could unfairly impact the investigation and violate natural justice principles, requesting an interim order to suspend the Home Minister during the investigation.

As the letter issued by the Office of the Attorney General's office on May 6 has no legal validity, as it is clear that the letter will unfairly affect the criminal justice system, an interim order has also been requested in the writ petition to stop the execution of all the work, actions, notices and correspondence of the letter.

“Depositors have the right to seek justice in cooperative fraud cases. They should not direct the police to ignore the position of any individual, refrain from investigating, or avoid prosecution. Any reports of cooperative fraud submitted to the investigating agency should be confidently pursued,” the petitioner demanded.

The Office of the Attorney General issued a letter clarifying that no complaint had been received from any cooperative against Home Minister Lamichhane so far. The controversy started after the Office of the Attorney General, which is the legal advisor to the government, gave a 'clean chit' to Home Minister Lamichhane.

Lamichhane submitted an application to the Office of the Attorney General on April 22. After asking the concerned offices, the Office of the Attorney General gave an information letter on May 6, stating that no complaint was reported against Lamichhane.

"Regarding the request made on April 22 for information about the embezzlement cases involving Supreme Savings and Loan Cooperative Society, Sahara Chitwan Multipurpose Cooperative Society, and Suryadarshan Savings and Credit Cooperative Society filed in Rupandehi District Court, we inquired with the District Public Prosecutor's Offices in Rupandehi, Chitwan, and Kaski. We received a response indicating that there has been no complaint, investigation, or prosecution. This is submitted as per the order," stated the information letter from the Office of the Attorney General.


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