Mahara cleared of all charges by Kathmandu District CourtKrishna Bahadur Mahara, the former House Speaker who had been accused of attempted rape, was acquitted by district judge Ambar Raj Paudel.
Kathmandu District Court on Monday acquitted former House Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara of all charges. Mahara was accused of attempted rape.
“Judge Ambar Raj Poudel decided to clear Mahara of all charges today,” said Gyan Bahadur Karki, information officer at the Kathmandu District Court.
District Judge Paudel pronounced the judgment on Monday afternoon after completing the hearing on Sunday.
“The court was preparing for the final verdict on Sunday, but it had to be postponed till Monday because of the lack of time,” said Tika Singh Khatri, joint spokesperson of the court.
Mahara is the first high-profile politician to go to trial for attempted rape allegations. Although Mahara stepped down as Speaker of the House after the allegations came to light, he has not resigned as a Member of Parliament. Now that he has been cleared of all charges, Mahara can go back to the House of Representatives as a full member.
Mahara was arrested on October 6, two days after a woman who works at the Parliament Secretariat, lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Mahara of attempted rape on September 29.
Police filed a charge sheet against Mahara on October 31, demanding five to seven-and-a-half years in jail.
District Judge Ambar Raj Paudel had initially heard arguments from a number of senior advocates including Raman Shrestha, Sher Bahadur KC, Lava Mainali, Dinmani Pokhrel and Bhimarjun Acharya, who had argued on behalf of Mahara, while government attorneys Umakanta Poudel, Chandra Kanta Khanal, Hari Prasad Regmi, Shanti Neupane and Binita Kapali argued from the government’s side.
On November 4, the Kathmandu District Court had remanded Mahara into judicial custody in Dillibazar prison.
Chief Judge of the district court Sudarshan Raj Pandey had decided to remand him to custody following the detention hearing.
On November 21, Mahara moved the Patan High Court, challenging the remand order of the Kathmandu District Court. But the Patan High Court on December 19 quashed Mahara’s plea and upheld the district court’s decision. Citing the urgency of the case, the high court urged the district court to finalise the case within a month. The verdict, however, came after two months.
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