The Patan High Court has granted bail to exiled pro-democracy Bhutanese leader Tek Nath Rizal in the fake Bhutanese refugees scam on Friday.
The joint bench of judges Janak Pandey and Prakash Kharel hearing different petitions filed by 20 defendants against the Kathmandu District Court’s order to send them to judicial custody has ordered release of Rizal on a bail of Rs 1.50 million, according to Patan High Court Spokesperson Tirtha Raj Bhattarai.
The bench, however, has ordered that CPN-UML leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi be kept in judicial custody along with former secretary Tek Narayan Pandey, Sanu Bhandari and Keshav Dulal.
The judges have, meanwhile, differed on whether to release former home minister and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Bal Krishna Khand on bail or not and another bench will take a call on that, according to Bhattarai.
While Pandey opined that Khand be released on a bail of Rs 3 million Kharel stated that he should be kept in custody.
Similarly, Khand’s personal secretary Narendra KC and president of Nepal Hajj Committee Shamsher Miya have been ordered to be released on a bail of Rs 1 million each, Rayamajhi’s son Sandeep on Rs 3 million and Ram Sharan KC on Rs 1.50 million.
The bench has also released Laxmi Maharjan and Ashish Budathoki on date. The Kathmandu District Court had earlier ordered her release on a bail of Rs 500,000.
The District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, has made 30 individuals defendants in the case. Twenty of them have already been arrested while 10 others are still at large. The DGAO had filed cases of fraud, organized crime, forgery and offense against the state against them on May 24 on the basis of the investigation report submitted by the police.
The Kathmandu District Court had ordered to send 17 of them to judicial custody and released three on bail.
The 20 defendants then moved the Patan High Court against the Kathmandu District Court’s order.
Keshav Dulal, Sanu Bhandari, 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 and Hari Bhakta Maharjan among others are currently in judicial custody.