Nepal court releases Sandeep Lamichhane on bail

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Nepal’s Patan High Court granted bail to cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane after he had been in detention for over three months for rape charges. The High Court bench, comprising judges Dhruvaraj Nanda and Ramesh Dhakal, overturned the decision of Kathmandu district court, releasing the 22-year-old on bail of Rs 2 million.

Lamichhane, however, has been barred from flying out of the country until the court pronounces its final verdict in the matter. A Nepal Court issued an arrest warrant against Lamichhane on September 8 in an alleged case of raping a minor girl. While the cricketer denied all charges, claiming innocence and labelling the allegations as “baseless”, he was suspended by the Nepal board pending the investigation. Notably, he was Nepal’s captain at the time of the issuance of the arrest warrant.

At the time, Lamichhane was representing Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2022. He left the tournament midway through, having not participated in any of the franchise’s games.

“I am innocent and keep complete belief in the respectable laws of Nepal. I have decided to take a leave from CPL and go back to my country within few days/ I am ready to face all these baseless allegations. Mat justice be served to the innocent and right investigation to be done (sic),” he wrote in a note on Twitter.

Lamichhane later expressed that the happenings had left him “upset and unwell”, taking a mental toll on him.

“The news that a warrant has been issued in my name and that the complaint against me has been lodged, made me upset and unwell,” Lamichhane’s said in a Facebook post written in Nepali on September 26. “I was not able think about what to do and what not to do.

“All these things affected me mentally on one hand and on the other hand, I had to go through illness, and due to mental stress and ill health I kept myself in isolation. I have been mentally and physically affected by the portrayal and I have reached a state of imbalance and I have been bringing myself back to a normal state under the advice of doctors. My health is gradually improving, and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to defend against the false complaint against me.

“I will fight the legal battle against the false accusations. As far as I understand, according to the constitution of Nepal, I am innocent until proven guilty. I also understand that the constitution provides for the right to live with dignity, the right against torture, the right to privacy, the right to health and the right to consult with my legal practitioner.”

The 22-year-old was last seen in the five-match T20I series against Kenya in August last year, which a visiting Nepal team won 3-2.

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