Police have started investigation into the controversy surrounding the citizenship of Rastriya Swatantra Party Chairman Rabi Lamichhane, who won the House of Representatives election from Chitwan-2 recently.
According to Superintendent of Police Dinesh Raj Mainali at District Police Range, Kathmandu, police have started investigation after the District Administration Office, Kathmandu, wrote to them.
“Letter has arrived from the administration. Investigation process has moved forward,” Mainali said.
Lamichhane has been accused of not relinquishing his Nepali citizenship while obtaining US citizenship and of using his old Nepali citizenship even after giving up US citizenship. Ukeraa.com had reported a few days ago that Lamichhane had also obtained a Nepali passport while still holding a US passport.
According to Ukeraa.com, Lamichhane has been using the Nepali citizenship he had obtained in 1993. He does not appear to have given up his Nepali citizenship even after acquiring US citizenship. One’s Nepali citizenship becomes invalid as soon as one acquires foreign citizenship. Anyone acquiring foreign citizenship must renounce their Nepali citizenship first. But Lamichhane is found to have obtained a Nepali passport on the basis of his invalid citizenship in 2015 itself.
Lamichhane had filed candidacy for the November 20 elections using his old citizenship certificate. A complaint was filed against him on this issue at the Election Commission. Voting had already taken place by the time the Commission sought clarification from him on the matter. Another complaint was filed against him at the Home Ministry after that.
The Home Ministry had written to the Kathmandu administration after receiving the complaint. Assistant Chief District Officer of Kathmandu Khadga Bahadur Shrestha said that the district administration has written to the District Police Range to investigate the matter.
If the investigation finds that Lamichhane had obtained a Nepali passport before renouncing his foreign citizenship, he could be fined and imprisoned.
The law has also prescribed punishment for anyone who obtains or tries to obtain a passport or travel permit by providing false information.
According to Section 21 (a) of the Passport Act 2076, one cannot obtain a passport by providing false information. If one does so, they could be fined Rs 200,000 to Rs 500,000 or jailed for one to three years or both as per Section 22 of the Act.