The Kathmandu District Court has granted judicial custody of Krishna Bahadur Mahara for three days to investigate the case of attempting to rape Roshni Shahi.
A bench of justice Deepak Dahal after hearing arguments of Mahara's lawyers and public prosecutors on Tuesday has granted judicial custody of three days, according to communication officer with the court Gyanedra Karki.
The district government attorney's office had demanded judicial custody of 13 days including the days he has been in police custody since his arrest on October 6. Public prosecutor Uma Kanta Paudel argued that Mahara's statement has not been recorded as he has been unwell for most of the 10 days of his custody and demanded he be kept in custody for three more days.
Senior advocate Raman Shrestha, advocate Murari Sapkota and others, on the other hand, argued that Mahara should be released.
Mahara was produced before the Kathmandu District Court earlier on Tuesday, 10 days after his arrest, due to Dashain holidays. He was taken to the court from Norvic International Hospital where he remains after being admitted on Thursday with complaints of hypertension.
A joint team of Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu, Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwore and Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested Mahara from the speaker's residence in Baluwatar on October 6 after the Kathmandu District Court issued arrest warrant earlier on the day.
Mahara was staying at the speaker's residence despite resigning from the post on October 1. A bench of Justice Brajesh Pyakurel earlier on October 6 gave permission to the police to arrest Mahara and investigate. The new Criminal Code 2017 requires court permission to arrest any individual.
Shahi had finally lodged attempt to murder complaint with the Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwore against Mahara on October 4 claiming that Mahara attempted to rape her and assaulted her when she resisted.
The police had reached the court seeking arrest warrant on the basis of that complaint.
Mahara stands to be jailed for up to five years if he is found guilty of attempting to rape her. Raping a woman older than 18 years carries a jail term of seven to 10 years, according to the Criminal Code 2017. Attempt to rape carries half the sentence which means Mahara can be jailed from 3.50-5 years if he is found guilty.
Mahara was accused of rape and assault by Shahi on September 29. She claimed an inebriated Mahara reached her rented apartment in Tinkune with a bottle of whiskey when there was no one else in the apartment Sunday night and raped her.
Shahi had called the police within an hour of the alleged incident and a team from Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwore had immediately reached her rented apartment in Tinkune and recorded details from her.
She spoke to the media the next day showing bruises on her face and legs she said were inflicted by Mahara. But the police slept on the case and waited for written complaint from Shahi.
She still had bruises on her face when she reached the police with her husband Chitra Jung Shahi to register the notice giving clean chit on October 2.
An emergency secretariat meeting of ruling CPN held at the prime minister's (PM) residence in Baluwatar on October 1 asked Mahara to resign from both speaker and lawmaker to facilitate investigation. But Mahara resigned only from the post of speaker and has yet to resign from that of lawmaker as per the secretariat decision.
Published Date: Tuesday, Asoj 28, 2076, 16:47:00