Nepal Today

Friday, July 12, 2013


Kathmandu, 13 July: Three youth were swept by a swollen rivulet in
Morang Friday.
Police was informed by the the family only Saturday.
A search has been launched.
Kathmandu, 13 July: A gang attacked and robbed 10 households for one
hour at  Debipur Suraha overnight and decamped with valuables.
Nine villagers were injured.
Police arrived only after the group fled.
 Kathmandu, 13 July: A bomb disposal unit of Nepal Army
Friday defused an explosive device at Phattepur VDC Saptari.
Little known Amul Paribartan Parishad planted the device
under Tengara bridge at the VDC.

Kathmandu, 13 July:  Nepal Army (NA) has for the first time decided to promote cricket as a sport And is preparing a team.
National team captain  Paras heads a APF team.
Arun Aryal has been appointed chief coach.

Kathmandu, 13 July In a criminal case six years ago, forensic experts at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) failed to locate a bullet stuck inside a bone of a dead body they were autopsying. It would definitely have been easier for the post-mortem unit had there been an x-ray machine in place, Ankit Adhhikari and Mahesh Gauram write in the Kathmandu Post..
The nearest x-ray facility was in the hospital’s general ward and the half-autopsied corpses would never be entertained there. The internationally acclaimed doctors were in a fix, although they came up with a final report clarifying the cause of death as shooting.
Eventually, their failure to find the bullet took its toll on police investigations. With no particular physical clue, no one was ever arrested in that case.
Similar technical difficulties arise whenever there is a rape case to be examined, and all this shows how “primitive” the state of forensic science in the country is. A number of other government departments are facing similar problems.
Given the existing lab of the Central Police Forensic Science Laboratory (CPFSL), identifying a rapist based on traces of semen collected from the victim’s body is impossible. According to the police, most arrests in rape cases are currently being made on word of mouth. Owing to lack of updated examination methodologies, which includes DNA testing, arrests and prosecutions have to depend on “subjective” statements given by the victim and witnesses or the accused himself.
The problem, meanwhile, is not all about the CPFSL’s inability to conduct DNA tests. With the manpower and equipment it has, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) can always conduct the DNA tests.
However, owing to the lack of a legal protocol through which the tests can be requisitely handed over to the NAST, it does not take up any such case unless ordered by the court.
According to Jivan Prasad Rijal, head of the forensic department under NAST, there is a reason for them not taking up such cases.
“DNA is an extremely critical test,” he said. “There has to be a legal provision clearly defining the rule of evidences and the authenticity of the scientific report.”
The question of authenticity with NAST’s DNA tests came up three years ago. One Sheela Gurung (name changed) claimed that a person named Rajesh Gurung (name changed) was her baby’s father, while the latter had been claiming he never knew the woman. The DNA test conducted at the NAST showed Rajesh was not the child’s father.
The Supreme Court, however, was not convinced with the DNA report owing to various “technical reasons,” one of them being the “unauthenticated collection” of Rajesh’s DNA samples.
There have been a number of instances when the forensic department at the TUTH has had problems in ascertaining the cause of death during autopsies. Doctors especially fail to get an accurate result whenever the cause of death is said to be poisoning.
According to Dr Harihar Wasti of the forensic department, the visceral samples of a dead person have to be sent to the forensic lab if preliminary physical investigations have shown the cause of death as poisoning. However, oftentimes, such reports show no presence of the toxic in the samples.
“This often leads to misreporting or incomplete autopsy report,” Dr Wasti said. He blames this on the lack of sophisticated test mechanism.
According to DSP Rakesh Kumar Singh of the CPFSL, current procedures the police have been following fail to identify a majority of the poisons, given the limited number of samples available at the lab. “Our methodologies identify only eight to 10 types of poison samples while the others found in the market go untraced,” Singh said.
NAST, on the other hand, claims it has ‘good mechanisms’ to examine such cases. However, as the cases fall under the jurisdiction of the CPFSL by default, and due to the lack of coordination, no cases are ever referred to the NAST.
According to CPFSL chief SSP Janak Bahadur Singh, in shooting cases like the one mentioned above, the bullet is instrumental in tracing the weapon used, which later leads the police to the person owning it.
Both SSP Singh and Dr Shrestha refused to cite individual cases, citing confidentiality of the matter.
The forensic test mechanisms are more “unreliable” in districts outside the Capital, where a medical officer, an MBBS doctor, has to conduct the autopsies, experts say. Only complicated cases in the districts are forwarded to Kathmandu-based forensic labs.
“We are gradually coming up with newer technologies,” said SP Prabhakar Shah of the CPFSL. “But we are still short of technical manpower. Forensic science has to be nurtured well at the policy-making level.”
Around six autopsies are conducted at the TUTH every day. The CPFSL annually deals with over 4,000 criminal cases, with the central manpower of just 75 individuals.
It examines the samples under seven categorical departments, depending on the nature of study. Tests are conducted under the units including biology and serology, toxicology, balastic science, chemistry narcotics, documents and fingerprints.
Kathmandu, 13 July: The Judicial Council has sought defining mental incapacity as a basis for removing a judge from his/her position in the new Act of the constitutional body, Pranab Kharel writes in The Kathmandu Post..
In the draft of the new JC Act forwarded to the Ministry of Law to replace the existing one, the JC states that a judge can be removed from the position only after a team of medical experts certifies that the individual is mentally incapacitated. Similarly, the JC also wants to clarify the term judicial deviance.
By deviance, the proposed provision means not basing oneself on the established principles and precedents among others. These two bases have been added to the previous three—incompetence, misbehaviour or failure to discharge the duties of his/her office in good faith.
According to a JC member, the two new provisions were added to the constitution. But the JC Act is yet to incorporate them. “This has caused a problem in dealing with judicial notice against a judge as there is no proper definition of it in the Act,” said JC member Khem Narayan Dhungana. He added that in the absence of the provision in the JC Act, regulation also could not be formulated.
The other three terms in the existing Act have been defined. For instance, there are nine points in the JC Act which define incompetence as the basis for disqualification.
These include failure to dispose cases in a stipulated time, unnecessarily prolonging the case, disposing fewer cases than required and applying laws which cannot be used in the case.
The proposed Act also provisions ‘golden handshake’. As per the provision, the JC would offer retirement plan to the judges “whose performance is not satisfactory” including a financial incentive as offered by the government.
Meanwhile, the only female judge nominee in the District Court—Nirmala Bhattarai—has declined the post citing personal reasons. “She informed the JC that she would not be able to take charge as judge owing to her family problem,” said JC member Dhungana.


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