Kathmandu. The Rastriya Swatantra Party chairman, Rabi Lamichhane, who won election to the House of Representatives from Chitwan-2 on November 20, has a citizenship dispute that the police are looking into.
According to Superintendent of Police Dineshraj Mainali, the Kathmandu District Administration Office has written to the police requesting that they investigate the accusation made against Lamichhane.
After obtaining his American citizenship, Lamichhane has been charged with failing to revoke his Nepalese citizenship. Despite having relinquished his American citizenship, he is accused of using it to vote in elections. Vice-chair of the RSP, DP Aryal, claimed to be unaware of the police probe.
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He continued, “We had sent a clarification to the EC addressing the matter. On November 26, a Nepali news website, www.ukeraa.com, reported that Lamichhane had obtained a Nepali passport using his old citizenship certificate despite having an American passport.
Lamichhane is reportedly still utilizing the citizenship he was granted in 1994, according to ukeraa.com. He then obtained American citizenship, although it appears he still retains his Nepalese citizenship. According to the legislation, a Nepali loses their Nepali citizenship as soon as they become nationals of another nation.
The person in question is responsible for renunciating their Nepalese citizenship after obtaining citizenship in another nation. On the other hand, it appears that Lamichhane obtained a Nepali passport in 2015 using his expired citizenship. Lamichhane obtained a Nepalese passport on May 27, 2015, claims ukeraa.com.
According to the website, he obtained an American passport on March 5 of that year and surrendered it on May 18, 2018. Using his previous citizenship, Lamichhane submitted his nomination for the legislative election on November 20.
On account of this, a complaint was made against him to the Election Commission. But by the time the commission questioned him for more information, the polling had already been conducted. Later, a complaint was also made against him to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The District Administration Office received a letter from the MoHA following receipt of the complaint. Lamichhane will be subject to a large fine and/or jail if it is determined that he obtained a Nepali passport before giving up his American citizenship. His election from Chitwan-2 will also be void in that scenario. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a passport or travel permit by providing fabricated documents or false information is also punishable by harsh penalties, according to the law.
The Passport Act’s Section 21(a) makes it clear that incorrect information cannot be used to obtain a passport. The act’s Section 22 states that the offense involves a fine between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh or a sentence of one to three years in prison, or both.
Lamichhane just secured a seat in the legislature for Chitwan-2, defeating his closest competitor Umesh Shrestha of the Nepali Congress by a margin of 34,170 votes. Lamichhane received 49,261 votes but Shrestha only received 15,091.