Criminal Procedure/Proceedings in Nepal

Here are the step-by-step Criminal Procedure and Proceedings in Nepal:

Pre-Trial Criminal Procedure

Step 1: Filing the First Information Report (FIR)

The First Information Report (FIR) serves as the initial notice of a criminal incident. It is an instrumental element of Criminal Law.

It can be filed when one anticipates a crime, witnesses an ongoing crime, or becomes aware of a completed crime.

The FIR can be submitted orally, in writing, or electronically to the nearest police station.

Step 2: Investigation of Crime

Following the filing of the FIR, the police ascertain its validity. If the FIR appears credible, a comprehensive investigation into the case commences.

In cases involving state party criminal matters, the government represents the accused; however, individual party criminal cases necessitate self-representation by the involved individuals.

Arrest and Detention of Suspects

All individuals suspected of involvement in the incident are apprehended in accordance with Section 9 of the National Criminal Procedure.

Prior to making an arrest, the police station must obtain an arrest warrant from the pertinent district court.

Throughout the investigation phase, suspects are held in police custody and must be informed through a detention notice.

Release During Investigation

If, during the course of the crime investigation, investigators hold reasonable doubts regarding the involvement of a detained individual, they can be released from custody.

Documentation of Crime Scene

A comprehensive documentation of the crime scene, including pertinent details, evidence, and other descriptive information, is compiled into a crime scene report.

Preliminary Investigation Report

Upon completing the crime scene documentation, the investigating officer submits a preliminary investigation report.

Subsequently, the government attorney determines the charges that may be pressed against the suspect.

Accused’s Statement

After the preliminary report’s preparation, the accused, accompanied by the government attorney, provides statements regarding the crime and their alleged involvement.

Presentation of Evidence

A comprehensive array of evidence, including crime scene documentation, pertinent matter reports, post-mortem examination records, and suspect body examination reports, is presented.

Examination of Physical Evidence

Prompt collection of relevant physical evidence is imperative.

Thorough checks of both male and female suspects are conducted to potentially gather any form of evidence.

Physical evidence must be tangible and well-documented.

Step 3: Filing the Charge Sheet

The charge sheet is typically filed by the government attorney or other relevant authorities.

This document includes the rationale for filing, evidence, witness statements, details of the crime, proposed punishment, and suspect’s personal information.

Step 4: Accused’s Statements

The accused’s statements are recorded twice within Nepal’s legal system: before filing the charge sheet and during trial proceedings.

These statements ascertain the accused’s involvement in the crime, potential accomplices, and other pertinent details.

Step 5: Order of Detention

Following the submission of the Charge Sheet, the Court deliberates on whether to maintain the accused’s custody or grant bail. During this period, the accused is typically held in judicial custody.

Detention

In general, the police station detains the accused if the potential prison sentence exceeds three years and there exists reasonable belief in the accused’s involvement in the crime.

Alternatively, the National Criminal Procedure recommends a different approach.

Bail

Security Bail involves a specified monetary amount provided by the accused during the judicial proceedings to ensure their presence in court.

Determining Bail or Security Amount

The bail amount is determined based on the gravity of the crime, the economic circumstances of the accused, their age, and the consequences of the crime.

Date for Court Appearance

Once the accused’s situation is established, the court sets a due date for their appearance.

Step 6: Notification to Defendant and Accused

Following the charge sheet filing, the court informs the defendant or accused about the lawsuit date.

Arrest Warrant for Fugitives

If the suspect named in the charge sheet remains a fugitive, actively evading arrest and trial, the court issues a second arrest warrant.

Summons

The date of court appearance is referred to as a summons.

Trial Criminal Procedure

Step 7: Collection and Examination of Evidence

Subsequent to the summons, evidence obtained from the deeds is scrutinized in court.

The opposing party, in adherence to the right to a fair hearing, can challenge and refute the evidence.

Step 8: Witness Testimony

After the evidence examination, witness testimonies are presented and assessed. Witnesses are also summoned on the designated appearance date. Witnesses are obliged to provide truthful testimony.

Witnesses may encompass physical witnesses and expert witnesses, such as medical professionals and psychiatrists, contingent upon the case’s nature.

Step 9: Postponement/Adjournment

Following the fulfillment of the aforementioned criminal procedures, the court may be postponed or adjourned. This occurs when the accused remains a fugitive or if there are jurisdictional questions.

Step 10: Judgment

Ultimately, the judge or judges review all presented evidence and testimony, subsequently issuing a judgment based on the case’s merits.

The judge must announce the decision within one month of evidence collection and examination.

Failure to do so necessitates the provision of a valid explanation to the immediate court.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement, personal communication or solicitation. Specific advice of professionals must be sought for each case.

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