Apex court show-cause to government on Dhungel clemency bid

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 26, 2018-

The Supreme Court has served a show-cause notice to the government on the latter’s plan to offer amnesty to murder convict Balkrishna Dhungel.

Dhungel, a former lawmaker of the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Centre), is serving life sentence at Dillibazaar Prison for murdering Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga on June 24, 1998.  He was arrested from Lalitpur in October 2017.

Barely six months into his sentence, the prison administration has recommended the government to waive his remaining jail term on the grounds of good conduct and his previous prison stints in the same case.

A single bench of Justice Dipkumar Karki on Friday issued the order to the government demanding a written explanation within 15 days on why Dhungel should be pardoned for his crime. Justice Karki has also summoned the government representatives to the court on Sunday for inquiry into the matter.

The apex court’s move was followed by a writ petition registered by senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi on Thursday, claiming that the government was planning to free Dhungel by invoking Presidential Pardon on the Republic Day.

Tripathi has named the President’s Office, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, Home Ministry, Prison Management Department, District Administration Office, Kathmandu, and Balkrishna Dhungel as defendants in the petition.

This is not the first time the government has tried to release Dhungel from prison through Presidential Pardon.

In November 2011, the government led by Baburam Bhattarai had also recommended Dhungel’s name for clemency, only to be repudiated by the Supreme Court.

Published: 26-05-2018 06:48

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