HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A committe probing into graft allegations against a group of judges found all of them worthy of being punished, but recommended action against only two, it has been revealed.
The panel, initially formed to probe into charges against appellate court judge Tej Bahadur Karki, had later taken up an investigation against Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam and apellate court judge Hari Bahadaur Basnet.
Bam was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Capital on Thursday. In its report, now obtained by The Himalayan Times, then Justice Bala Ram KC panel let off Karki with a warning but recommended actions against then appellate court judge Bam and another appellate court judge Hari Bahdaur Basnet.
The committe was formed after then Hetauda Appellate Court Judge Tej Bahadur Karki allegedly released Sanjay Shrestha, Rohit Paliwan Agrawal and Bhimsen Das Pandit –– all having a history of repeated arrests on kidnap and murder charges and walking free on bail. The trio was also accused of kidnapping Dr Bhaktaman Shrestha few years ago.
Bam and Basnet, both judges at Patan Appellate Court then, were dragged into controversy after it was revealed that they had earlier released the trio on bail, overruling a decision of Kathmandu District Administration Office to slap three years of jail on each of them for possessing arms.
The panel concluded that the judges misused their authority and needed to be punished on the ground of incompetency. However, it only decided to spare Karki stating his mistake was not deliberate.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Council had forwarded the report to the Legislature-Parliament through the Ministry of Law and Justice in relation to Bam, who had become justice at the Supreme Court. While Karki was relieved from his post, no action was taken against Basnet, who had already resigned.
Though then Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha claimed that the report to parliament recommended that Bam be impeached, JC on Friday said in a press release that Bam was neither supended nor awaiting impeachment.
Bam, during discussions with the KC panel, had claimed he had released the accused as there was no evidence to detain them as per Section 118(2) of Court Procedure Chapter of Muluki Ain based –– which states that one may deserve bail if he or she faces sentence less than three years.
Stating that Nepal Police unnecessarily intervened in the case, Bam claimed that he took the decision in the case based on the existing laws and the evidence provided by police.