January 8, 2019 07:17 AM NPT
File photo/ Republica
KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld lower court decisions to keep Resham Chaudhary, the main accused in the Kailali carnage of August 2015, in judicial custody.
A bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Purushottam Bhandari upheld the order of lower courts–Dipayal High Court and Kailali District Court– to keep Chaudhary in judicial custody pending the court verdict in the case arising from the Kailali lynchings.
Stating that evidence gathered indicates his involvement in the crime, the apex court did not overturn the order of Dipayal High Court handed down on April 15, 2018 and which in turn upheld a Kailali District Court order of February 26, 2018 to keep him in judicial custody.
The lower courts had sent him into judicial custody in order to proceed with the original case, after evaluating the evidence gathered by investigators at the time the government filed the case.
However, Chaudhary had gone to the apex court, stating that he was not involved in the crime scene as claimed by investigators.
The apex court cited statements recorded by co-accused Sundar Lal Kadariya, Prem Bahadur Chaudhary, Raj Kumar Kadariya and Ram Prasad Chaudhary, who claimed to the investigators that they committed the crime according to the orders of principal accused Resham Chaudhary.
The apex court also observed that Chaudhary was not far from the crime scene, as shown by analysis of the call details of his mobile phone. Similarly, co-accused Pradip Chaudhary indicted Resham Chaudhary when he recorded his own statement in court. The apex court said that the evidence available and statements of the accused were sufficient and reasonable ground for Chaudhary’s judicial detention while the case at Kailali District Court unfolds.
The apex court nod for the judicial custody has come after Chaudhary took the oath as a lawmaker four days ago. Chaudhary won as a lawmaker of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) from Kailali-1 in last year’s parliamentary elections.
Chaudhary had filed a petition at Dipayal High Court challenging the District Court order. When the former upheld the latter’s order he moved the apex court on June 19, 2018 challenging the High Court decision of April 5, 2018.