Nepal cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane indicted in rape case

He faces a jail term of 10-12 years if the victim was a minor at the time of the incident

By ANI

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 8:08 AM

Last updated: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 8:21 AM

After deliberation of 16 months, the Kathmandu District Court on Friday indicted Nepal's cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane in a rape case.

A bench of Shishir Dhakal on Friday delivered the verdict after listening to the concluding statement of both sides.

"He (Sandeep Lamichhane) has been indicted in the rape case. Subsequent hearings will decide over the jail term," Information Officer at Kathmandu District Court Chandra Prasad Panthi told ANI over the phone.

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As per the law of Nepal, Lamichhane will get a jail term ranging between 10-12 years if the victim is a minor at the time of the incident.

The Apex Court earlier on February 23 this year had ordered to conclude the case through fast fast-track process but the hearing has been on hold as it has continued to differ providing different occasions.

The court time and again had paused the hearing after rape accused former national team captain travelled to Zimbabwe to participate in the World Cup qualifiers. Lamichhane who stayed behind bars for a few months was released on bail and later allowed to travel abroad.

The Patan High Court on January 12 had repelled the order of Kathmandu District Court to send Lamichhane to judicial custody in the case of raping a minor citing lack of grounds to keep him in custody. He was released on a bail of Rs2 million the next day.

Lamichhane had also moved the SC demanding he be allowed to travel with the national team going to the UAE to play ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 matches against the UAE and Papua New Guinea at the end of February.

The joint bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Kumar Chudal after conducting a joint hearing of the petition by Lamichhane and the OAG's appeal had ordered on February 27 to allow Lamichhane to go to the UAE.

The District Government Attorney's Office (DGAO), Kathmandu had registered a case against Lamichhane charging him with raping a minor.

Police had investigated Lamichhane under Section 219 of the National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 after a 17-year-old girl filed a rape complaint against him.

The Kathmandu DGAO has demanded a prison sentence of up to 12 years against Lamichhane as per sub-section 3 (d) of Section 219, which states that a person who commits rape shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of 10 to 12 years if the woman is 16 or above 16 years of age but below 18 years of age. It has also sought compensation for the victim.

Lamichhane has denied the rape allegation in his statements to the DGAO and police.

An arrest warrant was issued against Lamichhane on September 8 and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspended him from the national team the same day after issuance of the arrest warrant.

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