Case against Sandeep Lamichhane postponed due to lack of Judges

KATHMANDU, Sep 18: The case against cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane has been put on the postponed list. The case has been postponed due to a lack of judges on the occasion of the Teej festival. 

Earlier on September 7, the bench of Judge Shakuntala Karki demanded the documents submitted during the migration from a local level in Kathmandu where the victim girl and her family had migrated.

When there was a dispute about the age of the mother, they also asked for a document confirming the date of birth of the mother to confirm it. After receiving the documents from the local level, the next hearing was scheduled for September 18.

The age dispute has become the main issue in the case in which Sandeep Lamichhane is the defendant. According to the date of birth obtained from the official birth registration body, the age of the victim is 18 years and three months at the time of the incident. The victim side has claimed that the girl's age was less than 18 years and her date of birth was 31st May 2005. But the accused side has claimed that the date of birth of the girl is on 31st May 2004 and has claimed that the age of the girl had already reached 18 years. In the birth registration of a girl at a local level in Nuwakot, it has been claimed that the date of birth of the girl is on the 2nd of July 2004. 

Instead of advocating whether or not the rape took place on the date of the alleged rape, the accused party submitted an argument that the girl had reached the legal age at that time. Section 219 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 2074, stipulates that physical contact with a girl who has not reached the age of 18 is considered rape even if she has mutual consent.

But if the girl has reached the age of 18 years, there is a situation where sexual relations can be established with mutual consent. The lawyer from the accused side said that there was no force on that day, Sandeep and the girl went to the hotel with a smile and agreed to stay, and even when they left, they were holding hands and came out laughing, and insisted that it cannot be called rape.

After the Supreme Court ordered that the case be heard quickly, the Kathmandu District Court set the date of the final hearing on August 17. However, on that date, an order was given to submit the evidence. After that, the hearing scheduled for the 27th of August was put on the unable to be heard list, and it was ordered to submit the evidence again on the hearing scheduled for September 7.

Although the final hearing was scheduled for September 18, today, the case has been postponed due to the lack of judges. Only 16 judges out of the 35 judges are present in the Kathmandu District Court on Monday.

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