Top court calls for Sunuwar case papers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 28, 2018-Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Kavre District Court and Nepal Army (NA) to all produce documents concerning the verdict made by Kavre District Court on Maina Sunuwar case.

This is the second time that apex court has sought documents on the case. Earlier, the SC had sought all documents in the first week of November, but both court and NA did not submit any documents. 

A joint bench of Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli and Bam Bahadur Shrestha urged both government bodies to submit all documents without any delay.

In a landmark ruling, Kavre District Court in April last year had sentenced three Army officials with prison terms for killing Maina in detention in 2004 in the first convictions of the officials from the national security force by a civilian court in relation to a crime committed during the decade-long insurgency. 

On September 22 last year, Nepal Army Captain Saroj Regmi filed a writ in court demanding a review of Kavre District Court verdict in Maina Sunuwar’s case. The district could have passed an erroneous judgment, the NA argued.

There has been no progress on the writ filed by the NA against the Kavre District Court verdict since both parties have not submitted documents to the SC.

The Army had named the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the office of Attorney General, Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Kavre District Court and Devi Sunuwar, the mother of Maina, as the defendants.

A single bench of judge Medini Prasad Poudel on Kavre District Court on April 16 last year handed down, in absentia, 20-year jail terms to then colonel Bobby Khatri and captains Amit Pun and Sunil Adhikari, who were stationed at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Panchkhal, Kavre, for killing Maina, then 15, in detention.  Colonel Khatri retired in 2009 after he was bypassed for promotion. Pun and Adhikari resigned after NA court marshal.

Maina was detained from her home in Kharelthok by the Army officials for her alleged links to then rebels Maoists.

Fifteen-year-old Maina was arrested on February 17, 2004 from her home in Kharelthok, Kavrepalanchok, and brought to the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Panchkhal. 

She later died after severe torture inside the army barracks. She was studying in grade nine at Kharelthok-based Bhagawati Higher Secondary School in Kavre at that time. The National Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had exhumed Maina’s body from the NA’s Panchkhal Barracks in 2007.

In 2005, a military tribunal ruled Maina’s death was accidental and charged the three army men involved in the case with minor offences. 

Published: 28-02-2018 07:27

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