Lawyers of the defendants have begun making their arguments in the bail hearing in the fake Bhutanese refugees case after public prosecutors and lawyers of complainants completed making their arguments on Tuesday.
Six lawyers each of chief accused Sanu Bhandari and Keshav Dulal made their arguments on Wednesday. The hearing is taking place in the bench of Kathmandu District Court Judge Prem Prasad Neupane.
Lawyers Binod Sharma, Chudamani Pokharel, senior advocate Shiva Prasad Rijal, Shalikram Sapkota, Sharan Prasad Koirala and Khadananda Kandel argued on behalf of Bhandari.
Similarly, Bikas Bhattarai, Bikash Thapa, Bishwas Acharya, Yogendra Adhikari, Nara Yogi and Rajan Bhattarai argued on behalf of Dulal.
Senior advocate Prof Dr Narsingh Kumar Khatri also made his argument on behalf of another accused Tanka Kumar Gurung on Wednesday.
Bail hearing in the case started on Sunday and public prosecutors and lawyers of complainants completed making their arguments on Tuesday.
Lawyers of the defendants will get to make their arguments until coming Tuesday. Public prosecutors will then make counter arguments on Wednesday and the court will issue an order on whether to keep the defendants in prison or grant them bail.
The District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, has filed five cases against 30 defendants including former deputy prime minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, former home minister Bal Krishna Khand, former home secretary Tek Narayan Pandey and exiled Bhutanese refugee leader Tek Nath Rizal in the fake Bhutanese refugees scam.
The DGAO has filed cases of fraud, forgery, offense against the state, organized crime and integrated offense against them on the basis of the report submitted by police.
Police had investigated the accused for offense against the state, fraud and organized crime.
Police had produced 16 people arrested in the scam along with their investigation report. They had named 14 others as absconding defendants in the case. Laxmi Maharjan, 32, of Lalitpur was arrested after that and produced before the court while her husband Hari Bhakta appeared in court on Thursday.
Keshav Dulal, Sanu Bhandari, Tanka Kumar Gurung, Sandesh Gurung, Sagar Rai, Tek Narayan Pandey, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and his son Sandeep, Indrajit Rai, Bal Krishna Khand and his personal secretary Narendra KC, Ang Tawa Sherpa, Ram Sharan KC, Govinda Chaudhary, Shamsher Miya, Tek Nath Rizal, Laxmi Maharjan and Hari Bhakta Maharjan have been arrested in connection with the scam so far.
Arrest warrants were also issued for former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s son Prateek, Indrajit Rai’s son Niraj and others, but they are still absconding.