Nepal’s former House Speaker acquitted of rape charges

Kathmandu: A District court in Kathmandu on Monday acquitted former House Speaker of rape charges due to lack of evidence and reinstated his post of a lawmaker in Nepal’s Parliament.

Krishna Bahadur Mahara, 61, landed into a controversy after a female staff working in Parliament Secretariat accused him of attempting to rape her in a rented apartment in Tinkune, Kathmandu, after being intoxicated in September.

The female employee had filed a First Information Report (FIR) on October 4, 2019, while the police arrested Mahara and registered a case against him on October 6.

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On December 20, the Patan High Court in Lalitpur had directed a lower court to conclude the case within a month upholding Mahara’s detention in relation to the attempt-to-rape.

Earlier, a division bench of Chief Judge Nahakul Subedi and Judge Tek Narayan Kunwar had denied bail for rape convict on November 4, 2019, stating lack of grounds to avail it. The bench instead directed the trial court to issue the verdict over the case within a month.

Mahara on November 23 had moved the high court challenging the decision of District Court’s that denied him bail.

Kathmandu District Court on Monday, however, acquitted Mahara on the grounds of insufficient evidence to prove the charge levelled against him and decided to release him from detention.

The verdict was pronounced by single bench of Justice Amar Raj Poudel on Monday afternoon which was postponed by a day owing to lack of time on Sunday.

He was released today itself after staying in custody for over 100 days, a large portion of which he spent in Thapathali-based Norvic International Hospital.

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