Nagarik Unmukti Party lawmaker Arun Kumar Chaudhary was released after President Bidya Devi Bhandari waived his remaining prison term on the occasion of Democracy Day on Sunday.
The cabinet had recommended to President Bhandari that he release lawmaker Chaudhary and other inmates on the occasion of today’s Democracy Day. The President’s Office issued a statement, saying that 395 inmates have been released after the resignation of their remaining prison terms. Lawmaker Chaudhary and 14 others were released from Kailali jail.
Nagarik Unmukti Parti President Ranjita Shrestha and other party leaders and cadres welcomed Chaudhary upon his release.
Earlier, the Home Office had sought the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on whether or not lawmaker Chaudhary’s punishment could be suspended.
There is a legal provision that allows the government to waive the remaining prison sentence for those who have served half their sentence on the occasion of Constitution Day, Republic Day or Democracy Day.
Chaudhary was arrested on February 2 after it was discovered that he was on the police’s wanted list after another defendant appeared in court a week earlier.
Chaudhary was elected to the Kailali-2 House of Representatives in the November 20, 2022 election. He had contested two elections before that and lost both times.
He had lost to CPN-UML’s Mahadev Bajgain in the 2017 local elections. He had also run for the provincial assembly the same year, but suffered defeat again.
Lawmaker Chaudhary and two others were found guilty in an arson case dating back to August 19, 2008.
On April 22, 2013, Arun Chaudhary, Parshuram Chaudhary and Bir Bahadur Chaudhary were sentenced by a court under then District Judge Bishnu Subedi at the Kailali District Court to six months in prison. The court had also ordered them to pay Rs 819,423.