The Supreme Court today issued a writ of mandamus to the government, telling it to take a decision in three months on whether or not murder convict Charles Sobhraj qualifies for waiver of his remaining jail sentence.
The writ was issued by a division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Bam Kumar Shrestha in response to the writ petition filed by Shobhraj from Jail Office, Jagannath Dewal, in November.
The Frenchman, who earned the nickname “bikini killer” for allegedly committing serial murders throughout Asia in the 1970s, was convicted in Nepal in two murder cases and has been in jail here since 2003. In 2014, Sobhraj was sentenced to 20 years in jail for the 1975 murder in Kathmandu of a Canadian tourist Laurent Carriere. In 2004, he was sentenced to life in Nepal for murdering American tourist Connie Jo Bronzich. Sobhraj, 75, had undergone open heart surgery last year.
According to Communication Expert of SC Kishor Paudel, Sobharaj stated in his petition that he qualified for waiver of his remaining jail sentence due to his age and his health condition. Sobhraj was arrested in Kathmandu after his picture was printed on THT’s front page.
Senior Citizen Act provisions for waiver of senior citizens’ jail sentence. The act says that senior citizens can get waiver of sentence not exceeding 50 per cent in the case of the senior citizen who has completed the age of 70 years, but not crossed the age of 75 years. The Senior Citizen Act also stipulates that notwithstanding anything contained in the prevailing laws, the court may, in view of the gravity of offence, order to hold an incompetent senior citizen or a senior citizen having completed the age of 75 years who has been sentenced to imprisonment in a care centre, not in a prison.