District Attorney decides not to try Lamichhane in passport dispute

The District Government Prosecutor’s Office (DGAO), Kathmandu, has decided not to bring a case against Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Chairman Rabi Lamichhane in the passport controversy.

He has submitted a report including a decision not to file a case against him to the Government Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court, Patan, according to DGAO head Achyut Mani Neupane.

Any proposal not to file a case must be sent to the Attorney General’s Office of the Superior Court of Justice, according to Neupane, and the office must study the proposal and send a report to the Attorney General’s Office if it also decides not to file the case.

He has added that the DGAO, however, will have to bring legal action if the State Attorney so instructs it.

The fact that immigration records do not show that Lamichhane used the passport (No 08834838) acquired in 2015 as the first ground for not filing the case, according to Neupane.

The second reason for not filing the case is that he was a Nepali citizen by descent before becoming a US citizen and his status was that of a non-resident Nepali and not a foreigner.

The fact that the disputed passport has been revoked by the Immigration Department and he has already regained his Nepali citizenship has been used as a third reason by the DGAO for not filing the case.

He has used the recommendation not to file a case made in the report filed by the Range District Police, Kathmandu, after completing their lengthy investigation into Lamichhane’s passport as the fourth reason for not filing the case.

Lamichhane has been accused of acquiring a Nepali passport using his invalid Nepali citizenship certificate while still holding a US passport.

Police were investigating a case brought against Lamichhane alleging that he had acquired a Nepali passport by providing false details.

Prior to that, a written petition had been filed in the High Court over the Lamichhane citizenship controversy.

After the final hearing on the petition on January 27, the Supreme Court ruled that Lamichhane was ineligible to become a legislator because he did not complete the process to reacquire his certificate of citizenship that became invalid after he acquired US citizenship. Lamichhane had resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Secretary on the same day.

He later reacquired Nepali citizenship. She also returned the Nepali passport acquired with her invalid Nepali citizenship.

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