Sandeep Lamichhane Acquitted of Rape Charges by High Court

Sandeep Lamichhane Acquitted of Rape Charges by High Court

Sandeep Lamichhane, who was convicted of rape by the Kathmandu District Court last year, was acquitted of his charges on May 15 by the Patan High Court.

Charges against Him

The District Government Attorney’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, had filed a case against Lamichhane under Section 219 of the National Penal Code Act, 2017, following a rape complaint by a 17-year-old girl. The DGAO has sought a prison sentence of up to 12 years, as stipulated by sub-section 3(d) of Section 219, along with compensation for the victim. Despite Lamichhane’s denial of the rape allegation in statements to the DGAO and the police, an arrest warrant later saw the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) suspend him from the national team following the issuance of the arrest warrant.

The Nepal court has sentenced cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane to eight years of imprisonment in a rape case. A single-judge bench of Sishir Raj Dhakal also imposed a ₹3,00,000 fine on the cricketer, besides ordering him to pay a compensation of ₹2,00,000 to the victim.

High Court’s Ruling

The judicial panel, comprised of Judges Sudarashan Dev Bhatta and Anju Upreti Dhakal, overturned the ruling of the lower court. Lamichhane’s legal representatives stated that, following the conclusion of his appeal hearing at the High Court in Patan, he was acquitted. “He had to be cleared, and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty,” affirmed Sabita Bhadari Baral, the player’s lawyer.

Cricket Association of Nepal’s Statement

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) announced shortly after the court’s decision that Lamichhane would be taken into consideration for Nepal’s T20 World Cup squad, provided the ICC granted their clearance. The World Cup, which will be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 1 to June 29, has given all 20 participating teams until May 25 to submit their final 15-man lineups. “Since the high court has cleared Sandeep Lamichhane from all the allegations, he is now cleared to play all forms of cricket,” a representative from CAN stated.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon