The Kathmandu District Court has ordered two government witnesses to appear in court to testify in the rape case against Sandeep Lamichhane.
A bench of Judge Shankar Raj Baral on Sunday issued an order to produce two government witnesses in the case.
According to Lamichhane’s lawyer Murari Sapkota, the court issued the order as the prosecution had applied for an order to produce two witnesses in court stating that their statements had not been recorded.
The case against Lamichhane is set for a final hearing as per the Supreme Court order on February 27 to conclude the case through fast track.
On September 6, 2022, a girl had lodged a rape complaint against Lamichhane with the Gaushal Police Circle.
Lamichhane, then captain of the national cricket team, was in the West Indies to play the Caribbean Premier League when the rape complaint was filed.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had suspended Lamichhane after a case was filed against him.
Nepal Police had issued a diffusion notice through Interpol on September 26 when Lamichhane did not return to Nepal from the West Indies.
Lamichhane eventually returned to Nepal on October 6 and was arrested upon landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
After the preliminary hearing on the case, the Kathmandu District Court on November 4 had issued an order to send Lamichhane to judicial custody.
Lamichhane had appealed against the order at the Patan High Court. On January 12, the Patan High Court had ordered Lamichhane’s release on a bail of Rs 2 million and on certain conditions.
As per the conditions set by the court, Lamichhane could not travel abroad, was required to inform the police if he had to travel outside the Kathmandu Valley, and could not contact the girl directly or indirectly.
Lamichhane and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) had then moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order. Lamichhane had filed a writ petition at the apex court demanding that he be allowed to travel abroad to play cricket, while the OAG had filed a separate petition demanding that Lamichhane be kept in judicial custody during his trial.
Hearing both petitions on February 27, the Supreme Court had upheld the Patan High Court’s order to release Lamichhane on bail and also allowed Lamichhane to travel abroad to play cricket. The court had also ordered that the case be decided through fast track.