Prashanta Pandey


A medical assistant forcibly arrested and tortured.

FACTS

On 7 April 2011, Mr. Prashanta Pandey, a medical assistant at a medical shop in Jhulinipur, Rupandehi, was forcibly arrested by three police officers from Rupandehi District Police Office without any warrant for the arrest. Mr. Pandey was taken to Lumbini Zonal Police Office, where he was repeatedly interrogated. 

Mr. Pandey was subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including beatings with batons and sticks, kicking and punching, and death threats. He was also made to urinate on an electric heater, kept blindfolded, and made to stand for 50 hours, with no food, water, or medical treatment in custody by the police officials.

Between 7 and 13 April 2011, Mr. Pandey was kept incommunicado. . Eventually, he was forced to sign a confession about his involvement in the planning and execution of a bomb blast of 27 March 2011. On 13 April 2011, Mr. Pandey was shown in public, labeled as a terrorist and a murderer.

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PROCEDURE

On 8 April 2011, Mr. Pandey’s mother filed a missing person’s report in the Rupandehi District Police Office. The Police denied her son was kept in custody. On the same day, she also submitted a complaint to the office of the National Human Rights Commission in Butwal to intervene to establish the whereabouts of Mr. Pandey. However, the Commission took no took no formal steps on this. On 8 May 2011, Mr. Pandey was brought before the Rupandehi District Court (RDC). On 11 May 2011, the Court ordered to keep him in pretrial detention. Mr. Pandey was held in pretrial detention at the District Prison in Bhairahawa for a year until his trial started.

On 13 June 2012, the RDC considered the forced confession valid, and no investigation into his claim of being subjected to torture and forced confession were initiated. On 16 October 2012, the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance submitted an urgent appeal on behalf of Mr. Pandey to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On 12 December 2012, Mr. Pandey’s mother filed a complaint on his behalf before RDC, stating that the police had tortured Mr. Pandey.

However, the registrar refused to file the complaint following the 35 days statutory limit provisioned under Compensation relating to Torture Act, 1996. On 24 January 2013, Mr. Pandey lodged a complaint in the Supreme Court seeking for compensation and requesting an exemption from the statutory limit being in consistent to the gravity of the offense. The Supreme Court ruled no decision. On 13 February 2014, he also submitted a formal request to the NHRC to investigate and reparation for acts of torture.

Mr. Pandey submitted the case to the Human Rights Committee on 20 February 2014. On 20 February 2014, TRIAL International submitted an individual communication on behalf of Mr. Pandey to the Human Rights Committee (HRC). The HRC issued its decision on the case on 30 October 2018. It found violations of fair trail rights, right against torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment, liberty and security of a person, among others.

Read the decision: English

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee recommended that Nepal conduct a thorough and effective investigation into Mr. Pandey’s allegation of torture and provide information, prosecute, try and punish those responsible and make them public and expunge criminal record as connected to the complaint, ensure psychological, rehabilitation and medical treatment made available, ensure criminalization and appropriate remedies for torture and enforced disappearance based on statutory limit for compensation in accordance with international standards and provide Mr. Pandey with compensation and appropriate measures of satisfaction for the violations suffered, including a public apology.

Thorough investigation –
  
Prosecution and punishment of those responsible –
  
Rehabilitation and medical treatment
   
Adequate compensation
 
Ensure criminalization and appropriate remedies for torture and enforced disappearance
  

No follow up on the implementation of the recommendation has been done yet, therefore no grading is available.

Efforts for Implementation

  1. A Public Interest Litigation filed at the Supreme Court of Nepal demanding the amendment of statute of limitation on the cases of torture, citing the HRC decision of Pandey v Nepal July 2020