Pageant Organiser: Manoj Pandey Found Guilty
Manoj Pandey, the pageant organiser, was found guilty of abusing young models by the Kathmandu District Court.
The Kathmandu District Court convicts Manoj Pandey, the pageant organiser, of exploiting young models participating in beauty pageants. The allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Pandey have been validated by the bench of Judge Deepak Dhakal.
According to the civil code, a person who is found guilty of sexually exploiting minors may receive a three-year prison term and a fine of Rs. 30,000.
A case had been filed against Pandey at the court on the charge of raping a participant in the ‘Miss Global International’ competition held in 2014 and sexually abusing her for a long time. Police arrested him from Swayambhu, Kathmandu, on May 21 after a series of videos were released by the victim.
The survivor allegedly shared pictures and videos on social media, claiming that Pandey had assaulted her repeatedly for six months when she was a minor.
The Gender Equality Act of 2006 was amended in 2015 with the new constitution, repealing bigoted provisions and extending the 35-day statute of limitations for rape cases to six months. The new penal code, which further extended the six-month statute of limitations on rape cases, was only recently introduced by the government to amend the Muluki Ain.
The victim was just 16 at that time, and she filed the complaint after eight years which was beyond the original six-month statute of limitations. This raised questions about the six month limitation and brought attention to the issue of justice for survivors of sexual assault. The victim’s case highlighted the need for an extension of the statute of limitations for cases of sexual assault and other crimes against women.