The Supreme Court (SC) has given three reasons for the decision to review its own verdict to commute sentence of former APF DIG Ranjan Koirala who was found guilty of murdering his wife.
The full bench of Justices Bam Kumar Shrestha, Prakash Kumar Dhungana and Kumar Regmi on Sunday hearing the review petition registered by the Office of the Attorney General against the verdict of Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC has given permission for review saying Koirala's sentence doesn't seem to qualify for commutation as per clause 188 of the Muluki Ain (General Code).
The full bench has said the verdict of CJ Rana and Justice KC has to be reviewed as Koirala pleaded not guilty in the court despite pleading guilty with the police, it cannot be deemed to be normal and chance incident due to his attempts to hide the body, and the verdict seems to be violating the Apex Court's own precedents.
The full bench has said the verdict to commute life sentence citing clause 188 of the Muluki Ain is against four SC precedents. "Permission for review of the verdict has been granted as the opinion of the justices that life sentence seemed too harsh has been found against the principles established in the cases of Nepal Government vs Shanti BK, Nepal Government vs Jugat Sada, Nepal Government vs Sher Bahadur Basnet and Nepal Government vs Kedar Majhi," the three-strong bench has said.
The Kathmandu District Court had issued life sentence with confiscation of all properties finding Koirala guilty of pre-meditated murder of his wife Geeta Dhakal and burning the body to destroy evidence, and the then Patan Appellate Court had upheld the verdict when Koirala appealed against that.
A joint bench of CJ Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC on June 29 commuted Koirala's sentence by 11 years using discretionary powers granted by the Muluki Ain to judges stating life sentence seemed too harsh pointing that the wife was the instigator of the incident as she died when he pushed her during a dispute initiated by her, raising of his two sons--who are both over 20 years in age--has been affected when he is in prison and it looked a chance incident.
Koirala was released on Thursday after serving eight and half years.
The Office of the Attorney General filed the review petition as per constitutional provision giving eight reasons to show that the verdict was erroneous.
Published Date: Sunday, Shrawan 11, 2077, 17:52:00