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Cleared for crease: Lamichhane scores legal boundary as High Court acquits him of rape

Khalid Umar Malik
17 May 2024

KATHMANDU, Nepal - On Wednesday, the Patan High Court acquitted Sandeep Lamichhane, a suspended national cricketer, of rape.

A division bench of judges Surya Darshan Dev Bhatta and Anju Uprety Dhakal rejected the Kathmandu District Court's decision to impose an eight-year jail term.

According to Tirtharaj Bhattarai, spokesperson for the Patan High Court, the panel reversed the decision due to a lack of evidence.

On January 10, a single bench of Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal convicted the former national cricket team captain. It imposed a jail sentence and a fine of half a million rupees for raping a girl in 2022.

The court ruled that the victim should be paid half a million rupees, with Rs 300,000 as a fine and the remainder as compensation.

Lamichhane and the district attorney's office appealed the district court's decision to the top court.

Following a detention hearing, the Kathmandu District Court ordered Lamichhane's transfer to the Sundhara Central Jail on November 4, last year.

On January 12, a division bench of high court judges Dhruva Raj Nanda and Ramesh Dahal released him on bail while the probe was ongoing.

Lamichhane was released from detention on January 13 after posting a two-million-rupee bond following the verdict.

However, the court forbade him from traveling abroad and required him to notify the police if he needed to leave Kathmandu.

Lamichhane, dissatisfied with the travel limits, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, appealing the high court's ruling.

On February 27, a division bench of Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Kumar Chudal granted the cricketer's appeal, allowing him to travel abroad to play cricket.

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