Hom Bahadur Bagale


The Facts

Mr. Hom Bahadur Bagale served in the Nepalese police from 13 February 1984. On 28 November 2002, Mr. Bagale was unduly arrested and subjected to torture in order to confess his involvement in the alleged theft of gold from his superior. He was handcuffed, forced to wear a hood and placed in solitary confinement with inhumane conditions of the detention and subjected to torture and severe ill-treatment. In particular, he was subjected to beatings, falanga, forced nudity, death threats, electric shocks, and the insertion of pins in his fingers and toes, without any medical support or treatment. Mr. Bagale managed to escape and file complaints at the Police Headquarters against his sufferings. The superiors pressured him to withdraw his complaint but he refused. On 5 February 2003, he was again taken to the Armed Police Battalion, Kathmandu where he was arbitrarily held until 21 February 2003. He somehow managed to escape and go home. On 25 February 2003, Mr. Bagale was brought back to the Battalion and detained until 3 April 2003. On 20 March 2006, he was arbitrarily deprived of his liberty, beaten and taken to the Quarter Guard of the Armed Police Battalion No. 1. Where he was held until 22 March 2006. On 22 March 2006, he was again detained without an arrest warrant and brought to Hanumandhoka, where he was arbitrarily kept until 28 March 2006 and subjected to further torture and ill-treatment.

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Search for justice

On 24 December 2002, Mr. Bagale filed an application to the Police Headquarters, Kathmandu complaining about the ill-treatment, beatings and torture suffered. This application was never formally registered. On 10 January 2003, he filed a complaint before the Kathmandu District Court (KDC) to obtain compensation for the harm suffered. He was repeatedly threatened by various policemen for this legal step and pressurized to withdraw the complaint.

On 4 April 2003 Mr. Bagale filed a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), requesting to protect his life. The NHRC did not take any action upon Mr. Bagale’s complaint, due to the fact that his case was already sub judice in court. On the same day, he also filed a petition before the Chief District Officer of the District Administration Office in Kathmandu requesting the adoption of measures to protect his life vis-à-vis threats and harassment suffered from other policemen. On 13 July 2004, the KDC rejected Mr. Bagale’s complaint. He appealed against this decision, but on 3 April 2007, the Appellate Court upheld the KDC’s ruling. On 1September 2014, the Supreme Court of Nepal too upheld the rulings of the lower courts.

On 22 March 2006, he was again detained without an arrest warrant and brought to Hanumandhoka. On 24 March 2006, a habeas corpus writ was submitted to the Supreme Court of Nepal on Mr. Bagale’s behalf. The Supreme Court found that the version of the facts provided by the Police was not credible and considered Mr. Bagale’s arrest and detention arbitrary. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Nepal did not pronounce itself on the alleged torture and ill-treatment suffered by Mr. Bagale.

On 26 April 2006, Mr. Bagale filed a petition before the KDC against 12 policemen. He requested Nepalese Rupees 100,000 (approximately 1000 USD) as compensation for the harm suffered and departmental action against the policemen concerned. On 18 September 2008, the KDC ruled that Mr. Bagale was tortured and ordered the Nepalese government to pay Nepalese Rupees 21,000 (approximately 210 USD) to the victim as compensation. However, the KDC denied taking departmental action against the perpetrators. The decision was nonetheless upheld by the Appellate Court of Patan on 12 June 2012. On 1 September 2014, the Supreme Court of Nepal denied the revision of the previous decisions taken by the lower courts. Mr. Bagale did not even receive the amount of money determined by the KDC to grant him compensation for the harm suffered.

Recommendations

The Committee recommended that the Nepal Government conduct a prompt investigation that is effective and thorough, impartial and independent, and transparent into the facts surrounding the arrest, detention and torture of the author and the treatment he suffered during detention, both in 2002 and 2006, as well as the interference to his private life, home and family life, and to provide the author with detailed information about the results of the investigation;  prosecute and punish those found responsible for the violations committed; ensure that necessary and adequate psychological rehabilitation and medical treatment are made available to the author; and provide adequate compensation, including appropriate measures of satisfaction, beyond the partial compensation already offered to the author for the violations suffered. The State party should ensure that its legislation effectively criminalizes torture and provides for appropriate sanctions and remedies commensurate with the gravity of the crimes. The State party is also requested to publish the present Views and to have them widely disseminated in the official language of the State party.

Grading

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Efforts for Implementation

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