Kathmandu District Court declares cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane guilty in rape case

Kathmandu: The Kathmandu District Court has pronounced cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane guilty of raping a minor girl. A bench led by District Court Judge Shishir Raj Dhakal upheld the charges against Lamichhane, the former captain of Nepal’s national cricket team.

The sentencing phase is scheduled for a separate hearing, where the bench will determine the period of imprisonment, the fine, and compensation for the victim. This consequential hearing is set for January 10, 2024.

The case originated from a complaint filed on September 6, 2022, accusing Lamichhane of taking a minor from Baneshwar to Nagarkot on August 21 and subsequently assaulting her at Kathmandu Inn in Pingalasthan. Lamichhane, who had left for the West Indies to participate in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) the next day, was arrested upon his return to Nepal on October 6.

Following the investigation, the police, through the public prosecutor’s office, filed a rape case, leading to Lamichhane’s detention for preliminary investigation. Lamichhane appealed the district court’s decision to the High Court, resulting in a release on a bond of Rs 2 million by a division bench of High Court judges Ramesh Dhakal and Dhruvraj Nanda on January 12, 2023. However, the release was subject to the condition that Lamichhane could not travel abroad without prior approval.

This High Court decision allowed Lamichhane to participate in crucial matches for the national team. Seeking permission for international travel, Lamichhane approached the Supreme Court, which, on February 27, granted him approval to go abroad for ICC League Two matches.