Print Edition - 2017-04-14 | News
Court to govt: Arrest murder convict Bal Krishna Dhungel
Apr 14, 2017-
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the inspector general of Nepal Police to arrest murder convict Bal Krishna Dhungel, a leader of the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre), and put him behind bars within a week.
A single bench of justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai issued the order.
Responding to a contempt of court case filed by advocate Dinesh Tripathi on Wednesday, the apex court on Thursday asked the police chief to deploy all its resources and arrest Dhungel and present him before the court through the Department of Prison Management within a week. The former Maoist lawmaker was found guilty of killing Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga in 1998.
The Okhaldhunga District Court in 2004 had convicted Dhungel of murder and ordered life term for Dhungel, but in 2006, the Rajbiraj Appellate Court gave him the clean chit.
He was elected lawmaker in 2008 Constituent Assembly elections. The apex court in 2010 overturned Rajbiraj Appellate Court’s decision and upheld Okhaldhunga District Court’s verdict.
The Baburam Bhattarai government in November 2011 had recommended presidential clemency for Dhungel, but it was rejected by the court.
Despite the SC order, Dhungel has been walking free, largely due to the protection he has been getting from his party, whose chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal now is the prime minister. The Maoist party has maintained that the Ujjan Kumar murder “is a political case” and that it should be dealt with by a transitional justice body.
The SC’s order to arrest Dhungel on Thursday follows his statement last month in which he had warned of “physical attack” on the judge who had handed down a life sentence to him. Addressing a function at Phedi of Saipu in Ramechhap district on March 12, Dhungel reportedly said that he would not accept the apex court verdict and went on to say that he “will not go to jail without slashing the judge’s thigh”.
After watching the footage of Dungel’s speech, the apex court has also written to PM Dahal to ensure his arrest.
“An arrest warrant needs to be issued against Bal Krishna Dhungel, who has been posing threat to conflict victims and society, to safeguard the dignity of independent judiciary and rule of law,” the bench observed.
SC registrar Nripadhoj Niroula has sent the SC directive to PM Dahal to ensure that Dhungel serves 12 years, five months and 22 days in prison as said in the apex court’s earlier verdict.
The apex court has also drawn the attention of PM Dahal to the fact that Dhungel’s video is in public domain and that it has taken his warning that he would attack judges very seriously.
The court has also reprimanded the Ministry of Home Affairs, the agency under which the law enforcement agency functions, for failing to execute court orders.
Killer who has not gone to jail
- June 24, ’98: Maoist leader Balkrishna Dhungel and others murder Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga
- May 10, ’04: Okhaldhunga District Court convicts Dhungel and eight others of Shrestha’s murder
- 2006: Rajbiraj Appellate Court gives Dhungel clean chit, and he walks out after serving a brief jail term
- Jan 3, ’10: The Supreme Court upholds verdict of Okhaldhunga District Court and orders to send Dhungel back to jail
- Nov ’11: The Baburam Bhattarai-led government recommends Dhungel for presidential clemency
- Jan 7, ’15: The Supreme Court rules against Bhattarai government’s
recommendation for clemency
- March 12, ’17: Dhungel reportedly warns of attacking the judge who sentenced him to life term
- April 12, ’17: Contempt of court case filed against him
- April 13, ’17: SC orders authorities to arrest Dhungel within a week
Published: 14-04-2017 08:04