Judicial Council forms committee to probe audio tape of deal between judge and lawyer

The Judicial Council on Wednesday has formed a committee to investigate the audio tape purportedly depicting a deal of Rs 20 million between Judge Raj Kumar Koirala of the Kathmandu District Court and advocate Rudra Pokharel to release Ichha Raj Tamang on bail.

A three-member committee under member of Judicial Council Ram Prasad Shrestha has been formed to investigate the episode, according to Law Minister Govinda Prasad Koirala.

News24 television broadcast the telephone corporation, authenticity of which Setopati has not been able to confirm, in a program Tuesday evening.  

Pokharel tells Judge Koirala to release Tamang, who has been arrested on a fraud case, stressing that such opportunity does not come regularly in the purported conversation of almost 10 minutes. He assures Koirala that he will talk with CJ Cholendra Shumsher Rana, who has been suspended since after an impeachment motion was lodged against him, and the top-ranked judge at the Kathmandu District Court about the matter in the conversation.

Koirala, who fears for his job at first, is convinced after Pokharel assures that his verdict will be endorsed even by the Patan High Court.

Tamang, who was arrested on charge of duping commoners off Rs 8 billion, was sent to judicial custody on December 29, 2021.

The purported conversation seems to have happened before that and the agreement does not seem to have held as Koirala sent him to jail. An advocate who is closely observing the episode claimed with Setopati that Koirala sent Tamang to jail after top-ranked judge at the Kathmandu District Court Raju Kumar Khatiwada refused to comply with the deal.

Pokharel is close to CPN-UML and is member of the legal department of the main opposition party. He was treasurer of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and had argued in defense of the House dissolution by KP Sharma Oli in the Supreme Court.

Published Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 16:31:00

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