December 25, 2017 05:30 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 25: The Supreme Court on Sunday directed Resham Chaudhari, who was elected a member of the House of Representatives from Kailali constituency 1, to surrender before the Kailali District Court and face court proceedings over his alleged involvement in the Tikapur massacre of August 2015 before he could be handed his election certificate.
The court not only rejected Chaudhary's plea to receive the election certificate through his legal agent but also directed him to participate in court proceedings to prove his innocence in order to receive his election certificate.
Chaudhary who has been accused of masterminding the Tikapur carnage in which seven police personnel including a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and a toddler were killed, has been at large since then. He has been escaping court proceedings by ignoring the court summon to participate in the hearing for a bail order, as required by Section 118 of the Court Procedure Chapter of the Civil Code.
“Someone accused of being involved in a crime must participate in the necessary process but the applicant has not done so. Even if anyone is innocent or if the charge against him or her is false, he or she must participate in court proceedings to receive a clean chit,” states the court order.
In its order, a single bench of Justice Tanka Bahadur Moktan upheld the rejection of a writ petition filed by Chaudhary's legal agent by the Supreme Court administration on December 15. Chaudhary's legal agent had tried to register the writ petition seeking an apex court order to the Election Commission (EC) to issue Chaudhary's certificate through his legal agent. But the SC's Chief Registrar Nahakul Subedi refused to register the writ petition arguing that there was no ground to register the writ petition. After EC's refusal to issue Chaudhary's poll certificate to his agent, Chaudhary's agent had tried to move the apex court demanding an SC order to the EC.
The bench also observed that allowing any individual to escape court proceedings will encourage the culture of impunity in the country.
The SC ruled that the court has the authority to issue an arrest warrant against an accused who has been escaping court proceedings according to Section 94 of the Court Procedure Chapter of the Civil Code and that the police can arrest such an accused any time.
The court order which was made public on Sunday further states, “Nobody should be deprived of the right to file a writ petition through his or her power-of-attorney at a court but a defendant who had to fulfill the above-mentioned pre-conditions cannot enjoy such right.”