Ram Ishwar Yadav alias Bechan Yadav of Chorakoyalpur -6 in Dhanusha arrested on a murder charge has been in the Jaleshwor Prison since October 29, 2009, awaiting trial.
The Dhanusha District Court had ordered to remand him in police custody for further investigations into the case. But eight years have already passed, but he is still there, awaiting a final hearing and does have no idea how many years he has to still wait for the court’s decision.
Yadav is just an example of dozens of people who are behind the bars, awaiting final hearings on the cases they are facing. This is in contravention with the legal provision that seeks the settlement of a case in relation with a person booked into the jail by maximum two years of the detention.
The Jaleshwor Prison serves as a common correctional facility of Dhanusha and Mahottari districts and of Sarlahi since the recent years.
Ram Dular Mandal of Yagyabhumi-5 in Dhanusha charged with murder remains in the prison for over the past six years in hope of getting a final court hearing. Shadrudhan Yadav, of Mahendranagar-1, Dhanusha, Umesh Yadav alias Umesh Mukhiya of Chorakoyalpur-2, Dhanusha, Jaya Prakash Chaudhary alias Shivam of Bisarahiya-8 who all are facing murder charges and have been spending time in the jail at least from five to six years, awaiting final settlement of the cases.
Mahottari District Court’s judge Sudip Dangal said the provision related to the court proceedings in the Muluki Ain ( General Code) of Nepal states that judgment on a case of first instance has to be made within one year after the date of filing of the note of defense or that of expiration of the time limit for the filing of the note of defense and judgment on a case of appeal has to be made within six months after the date of receipt of the case file of first instance and after the procurement/examination of the evidence as required to be procured or examined, no delay of more than 35 days shall be made to make judgment despite that the time for making judgment as mentioned above still remains.
Mukesh Karna of Janakpur Sub Metropolis-14, Sures Kumar Karna alias Prakash of Sapahi-1 in Dhanusha, Ripendra Jha alias Chhote of Damhimadai-6 in Mahottari have been spending time here for the over the five years on murder charge.
Amar Kumar Saha of Janakpur Sub metropolis-5 booked into the jail on a twin charge–murder and drug-has already spent complete five years awaiting the court’s judgement.
It takes unnecessarily long time to settle a case due to personal reasons of the accused, technical glitches of court and law practitioners and laws that oppose new ones, to contradict the new strategic plan of the Supreme Court provisions that a case be settled within 18 months or two years, said Pyakurel.
Some factors like the failure to arrest and present all suspects in a crime before the court in time, the delay in identifying name and birthplace of a suspect and in finding witness in time, the postponement of hearing time and again and the pressure of cases will also encourage delay in settling cases.
According to Clause 18 (1) of Prison Act, 2019, a convict who has completed his handed jail term should be released within 24 hours of the completion time.
Likewise, Clause (2) states that in case a suspect waiting for final verdict on his or her case does not get his or her case settled within even six months, the concerned jailer should submit a report to the appellate court clarifying the reasons relating to the matter within three days of the expiry date for the suspect remaining in custody.