Justice Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha to hear writ against Prime Minister DahalAdvocates Gyanendra Aran and Kalyan Budhathoki, also conflict victims, had on Tuesday registered a writ petition at the apex court seeking criminal investigation against Dahal over insurgency-era atrocities.
The hearing of the writ filed against CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been assigned to the bench of justice Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha.
A single bench of justice Shrestha will hear the case filed at the Supreme Court on Tuesday by advocates Gyanendra Aran and Kalyan Budhathoki, who are also conflict victims, seeking a criminal investigation against Dahal over insurgency-era atrocities.
The case registered against Dahal has been scheduled for the fourth and fifth slots on Thursday.
On January 15, 2020, while addressing a Maghi festival celebration event in Kathmandu, Dahal had said that he, as the leader of the Maoist party that led the decade-long insurgency, would take the responsibility for the deaths of 5,000 people and that the state should take responsibility for the remaining deaths.
It is estimated that around 17,000 people lost their lives during the decade-long insurgency.
Aaran and Budhathoki had tried to register their petitions on November 10 last year, but the court’s administration had refused to accept them claiming that the cases were related to transitional justice and already in the docket of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Later, on November 14, the court asked its administration to clarify its refusal to register the petitions against Dahal. A single bench of Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki had decided to seek a report on why the Supreme Court administration had refused to register the petitions filed by advocates Aaran and Budhathoki.
However, on March 3, the apex court ordered its administration to take the petitions against Dahal, stating that the criminal justice process could not be kept on hold, made ineffective or passive under any pretext.
In their petitions, the victims have demanded the court take necessary legal action against Dahal for the killings that he himself owned up to.
According to Budhathoki, the 20 writ petitioners, who were conflict victims, have demanded the Supreme Court hold Dahal accountable for the deaths of 17,000 people in the Maoist insurgency and not only of the deaths of 5,000 people.
However, the Maoist Centre and its breakaway factions have been objecting to the decision of the court to allow the registration of the petitions. Against their claims that the insurgency-era cases of atrocities must be handled solely by the transitional justice mechanism, the apex court in its March 3 ruling had said, “criminal justice process cannot be kept on hold, made ineffective and passive under any pretext”.