National

PA member sentenced to one year prison for smuggling forest products

- Post Report, Rautahat

May 15, 2018-A Province Assembly lawmaker of Rautahat has been sentenced to one year prison on the charge of smuggling forest products.

According to the verdict of the then Appellate Court, Hetauda, Province Assembly member Kundan Kuswaha was sentenced to one year in prison for his involvement in smuggling forest products.

The District Court, Gaur, has sent a letter including the information to the District Police Office pertaining to the fine penalty against Kuswaha.

Kuswaha had won the Province Assembly election from Rautahat Constituency 3 (Kha) from CPN (Maoist Centre).

The District Court has sent the letter related to fine at a time when the forest products smuggling case against Kuswaha is pending in the Supreme Court.

Court’s registrar Manoj Baral confirmed that a letter related to the fine penalty has been sent at the District Police Office informing that Kuswaha has been sentenced to one year in prison.

SSP Rabindra KC said that the District Police Office has got the letter sent by the court.

“The court has not clarified whether to arrest him,” he said, adding, “I will take consultation with the legal experts regarding the issue.”

A police official at the District Police Office claimed that Kuswaha can be arrested based on the letter of court.

The Appellate Court, Hetauda, on August 10, 2015 had sentenced Kuswaha to one year in prison.

Around 469 cubic feet timber was recovered from a truck (Na 4 Kha 4640) heading towards Pokhara of Kaski from Katahariya of the district on September 18, 2012 during a security check at Pathlaiya Check Post in Pipara Simara.

Truck driver Indra Bahadur Mananadhar had tried to escape the arrest saying that the vehicle was loaded with 350 sacks of rice.

During the interrogation, Manandhar said that the timber belonged to Kundan Prasad Kusaha, owner of Katahariya-based New Everest Saw Mill.

The District Court in July 6, 2014, had found Manandar guilty in the smuggling of forest products while truck owner and Kuswaha were given clean chit.

After the verdict was appealed at the Appellate Court, Hetauda, the court overturned the decision of District Court, Bara, and sentenced Kuswaha to one year in prison.

Later on July 31, 2016, lawmaker Kuswaha had appealed the Supreme Court against the verdict of the Appellate Court.

“I am stunned that a letter has been sent to the District Police Office regarding the fine penalty over the pending case,” he said, “How it happened. I am trying to inquire about this.”

He had contested the province assembly election at a time when the case was pending at the Supreme Court.

Published: 15-05-2018 19:00

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