Privacy of the Accused and Right to Appeal

While defending the victim’s right to maintain their confidentiality, another portion of the populace is demanding for the same right of the accused. The case of Nepali cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is at the verge of hitting the High Court after Kathmandu District Court slapped a sentence of 8 years in prison. Here are a few things we should know about the accused’s right to appeal and the provisions regarding the privacy of the identity of accused:

  1. Appeal: The person not satisfied by the District Court (in this case Sandeep) has the option of filing an appeal in the High Court. If the decision of the High Court is also disagreeable, the dissatisfied person may appeal to the Supreme Court for revision as the last resort.
  2. Time-Limit: In case of criminal cases where the appellant is the Nepal Government, the person who decides to file an appeal must do so within 70 days from the date of decision by the District Court. An additional 30 days may be granted if the reasons for the delay are plausible. 
  3. Execution: Until the final decision from the High Court, the decision of the District Court shall not be implemented.
  4. Out of Jail: If the sentenced person has not been held in pretrial detention and receives a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, and thus makes an appeal to stay out of prison while making the appeal and until the higher court gives its decision, it may be granted. 
  5. Hearing Time: The High Court must decide the case within six months from the date of filing of the appeal.
  6. Privacy: There is a restriction on disclosing the identity of the accused before a chargesheet is filed. But once it is filed, no explicit  law bars anyone from publicizing the accused’s identity.
  7. Right to justice: The law of Nepal supports the criminal justice principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. So the freedom of making the identity of the accused public until their sentencing is against the essence of that fundamental right.

Following are the relevant provisions in the legal context concerning the right to appeal and the right to privacy of an accused person in Nepal:


Constitution of Nepal 2072 (2015)

Article 20

Rights relating to justice

The Privacy Act 2075 (2018)

Section 17

Privacy of accused 

The National Criminal Procedure Code 2074 (2017)

Section 137

Imprisonment while making appeal

Section 140

Time Limit for hearing by court

Section 153

Postponement of execution of decision