Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bail Release for Rapists

PokharaDec 6-A single bench of Justice Chandi Raj Dhakal had delivered the verdict on monday , allowing the six youngsters, who were charged of raping an under-aged girl, to go free after submitting the bail amount as demanded by the court.

One of the rapists Kiran Gurung bought his freedom submitting Rs 125 thousand while his partner in crime Sunil Gurung went free by submitting Rs 100 thousand as bail amount. Four of them, namely, Niroo Gurung, Buddha Gurung, Dogen Gurung and Sunil Gurung were, however, sent back to custody as they failed to submit the bail amount.

Nine youngsters aged 16 to 21 had raped the 15 year-old Gurung girl behind SOS Children’s Village in Pokhara while one of them even dared to drop her back in to her residence in Ram Bazaar, where she had been living alone as her parents live in India.

The police said the forensic tests confirmed that the six were involved in the crime, adding that all the arrested six culprits have pleaded guilty of the charge. We are searching for the other three youngsters involved in the crime, the police said.

The 11th amendment of the Civil Code identifies any sexual relationships with girls under 16 years of age as rape, even if it is done with the girl’s permission.

“With such clear provision in the Civil Code, the court decision cannot be justified, particularly after all the accused pleading guilty of the charge,” President Bhattarai said.

The youngsters were produced to the court on Monday after 28 days in police custody for investigation.

Mainwhile Law practitioners have criticised Monday’s decision of the Kaski District Court to release the rape accused on bail, saying that it was possibly the first time any court gave such a decision on cases relating to serious sexual abuse.

“I have never heard of rape accused going free on bail in my entire career,” said Hem Mohan Bhattarai, President of Pokhara Appellate Court Bar Association.

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