Published On: March 16, 2023 08:05 PM NPT By: Bhasa Sharma
KATHMANDU, March 16: The Supreme Court (SC) has sought reasons from the Election Commission regarding the case of Gandaki Provincial Assembly Member Rajib Gurung, also known as Deepak Manange. The Constitutional Bench of Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki, Justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada, Anand Mohan Bhattarai, Anil Kumar Sinha and Tank Bahadur Moktan has ordered the dismissal of the case against Manange.
A case was filed against Manange 10 years ago on the charge of murder. The Kathmandu District Court sentenced him to two years in jail in connection with the ame case. Manange was released from prison after serving his jail term.
However, an appeal was filed at the Patan High Court against the judgment of the district court. The Patan court sentenced Manange to five years in jail in addition to the sentence of the district court. An appeal was filed against it at the SC as well. After that, Manange won the provincial assembly election from Manang district in the election held in November 2017. After that, he also became the sports minister of Gandaki Province. Manange was elected unopposed from Manang district as an independent candidate in the provincial assembly elections held on November 20, 2022. He is currently a member of the Gandaki Province Assembly.
Advocate Birendra Raj Karki filed a case at the SC on December 26, 2022, saying that Manange had not completed the prison sentence handed down by the High Court. Manange filed an appeal to the SC against the High Court's decision. "If there is any petition or appeal filed in this court on the judgment of the Patan High Court over the murder case against Rajeev Gurung, submit the related files for perusal," the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court said in an order issued on Wednesday.
The SC has ordered to submit a written response within two weeks through the office of the province chief attorney or by himself. The petitioner had sought an interim order with the cancellation of his position saying that Manange is unfit to be a provincial assembly member. However, the SC refused to issue an interim order. According to the law, a person who has been convicted of murder is disqualified from being a candidate for six years. The writ petitioner demanded that the jail term should be served as per the decision of the High Court and that Manange should be dismissed as a provincial member. The SC has issued a show cause notice.
The SC has already upheld the judgment of the High Court. On January 26, 2018, the joint bench of Supreme Court Justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Purushottam Bhandari upheld the verdict given by the then Appellate Court 10 years ago, and the way to arrest Manange was opened. However, he was not arrested. In the year 2004, a murder charge was registered against five people for attempting to kill Milan Gurung aka Chakre Milan. In that case, the Kathmandu District Court had ruled that Manange should go to jail for two years.
In the cases Revat Karki, Ramesh Sunuwar, Ganesh Lama, Umesh Lama, who were appealed, apart from Manange, the SC upheld the decision made by the then Appellate Court Patan. The case, which was filed by the government, appealed to the Patan court through the attorney general's office, demanding punishment for five people including Manange. The Patan Court acquitted the other four and sentenced Manange to five years in prison. An appeal was made to the SC against the four acquitted by the same verdict.
What was the incident?
On May 13, 2004, five people including Manange were accused of cutting off the left hand of Chakre Milan at the Chufang Restaurant located in Maharajganj, Kathmandu. After that, Manange was arrested on March 31, 2005 after an attempted murder case was registered against him.
After the investigation by the police, he was detained at Dillibazar prison on April 26, 2005, by the order of the Kathmandu District Court. At that time, it is mentioned in the criminal records kept by the police of the Police Crime Division that Manange served the term and was released on February 11, 2007. Police have recorded a total of nine cases against Manange.
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