CK Raut sent to jail after failing to furnish bail

Six days after the government filed a chargesheet against Madhes activist CK Raut accusing him of sedition, the Special Court on Tuesday ordered the authorities to set him free on bail. 

The court had sought Rs 50,000 as bail bond for his release but after he failed to post the amount, he was sent to jail. 

About a month ago, Morang Police had arrested Raut from Rangeli area and the government on October 8 had sought life imprisonment or 10 year jail-term for Raut, accusing him of engaging in anti-national activities by advocating a separate country. 

Special Court Registrar Natibabu Lamichhane said, “While recording his statements for three days, Raut stated that he was not advocating for a separate homeland for the Madheshi people but was fighting for the cause of Madheshi people´s right.” 

During the confession, he also clarified that he never advocated for a separate flag and the motive of the book he authored and pamphlets were not intended to divide the country, according to Lamichhane. Raut also stated that his views were misrepresented by his opponents, according to the court.

However, the court is yet to take up any other evidences that supports the sedition charges if any in the future, according to the Special Court. After Raut failed to deposit the bail amount, he was sent to Dillibazaar jail. 

Initially, Raut was booked under the Public Offence Act and the police had carried out an investigation into his campaign for “independent Madhes.” 

Meanwhile, a habeas corpus petition claiming that Raut was detained illegally was filed at the Supreme Court after his arrest. 

Responding to the petition, a single bench of Justice Cholendra SJB Rana had ordered the police to present Raut in person at the court and a division bench of Justices Sushila Karki and Gobinda Kumar Upadhyay had quashed the petition. On September 18, the police had brought Raut to Kathmandu from Biratnagar. Raut had also launched hunger strike for 11 days while in police custody arguing that his right to freedom and expression was violated by the government, but broke his fast upon the request of the government.

Source: Republica