Kathmandu, August 23, 2023
The protracted legal saga surrounding Sandeep Lamichhane, the celebrated leg spinner of Nepal’s cricket team, is poised for a decisive turn as the final hearing of his case has been slated for this Sunday.
In the wake of grave rape allegations, the culmination of the legal proceedings, which has been repeatedly delayed, is set to take place at the Kathmandu District Court. The much-anticipated hearing on the matter, which was originally scheduled for last Thursday, had to be adjourned, prolonging the legal uncertainty.
Justice Rajukumar Khatiwada’s bench had issued a pivotal directive to ascertain the birthdate of the alleged victim’s mother, a critical piece of evidence in the case. Notably, discrepancies were identified between different documents, indicating conflicting birth years for the mother—2035 in one document and 2053 in another.
Reliable sources revealed that the court had received the requested documents on Tuesday, a development that has bolstered expectations of commencing the final phase of legal deliberations. While the majority of the necessary documents have been acquired, concerns remain about the potential for further delays or legal maneuvering on various pretexts, even after the Supreme Court’s directive to expedite the proceedings.
Coinciding with these developments, the Nepali national cricket team is gearing up for their inaugural match in the upcoming Asia Cup, scheduled for Wednesday. However, Sandeep Lamichhane’s participation in the tournament remains uncertain due to the ongoing legal proceedings. The outcome of Sunday’s crucial appearance before the court is anticipated to play a decisive role in determining whether Lamichhane will be granted permission to travel with the team to Pakistan for the tournament.
As stakeholders and cricket enthusiasts anxiously await the culmination of this high-profile case, Nepal’s legal system stands on the precipice of delivering a verdict that will inevitably impact the future of one of the nation’s most celebrated cricketers. All eyes are on the forthcoming Sunday hearing, which promises to shed light on the trajectory of this closely watched legal battle.