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HomeEnglishFact Check: No, Supreme Court Has Not Cleared Rabi Lamichhane On His...

Fact Check: No, Supreme Court Has Not Cleared Rabi Lamichhane On His Passport Issue

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Supreme Court has given clean-chit to Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane

Fact
The passport issue of Rabi Lamichhane is still under investigation

 A news clip claiming that the Supreme Court has given a clean-chit to Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane on his passport issue, has gone viral on TikTok. The video further claims the apex court decision has made it certain that Rabi Lamichhane is going to contest the by-election. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

RSP President Laimchhane was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister on December 25 after his party emerged as the fourth largest party in the November 20 general election. He resigned on January 27 after the Supreme Court annulled his status as a lawmaker, saying that the citizenship he produced to contest the election from Chitwan-2 was invalid.  The court ruled that Lamichhane failed to acquire Nepali citizenship after he renounced the US citizenship.

In this context, TikTok user @dhakalshiva1 posted a video showing multiple footage of Rabi Lamichhane. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Good News! The Supreme Court has cleared Rabi Lamichhane. It has become certain that Lamichhane will contest the election from Chitwan-2.” Audio accompanying the video says, “Here is good news, if you are a supporter of Rabi Lamichhane, please share this video. In its written response to the government attorney’s office, the immigration department has stated that Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) lawmaker Rabi Lamichhane has not visited any foreign country with the Nepali passport he received lately. Sources said that Lamichhane has dual passport but he used Nepali passport only after renouncing his US citizenship.” The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Screengrab showing the viral video.

The video posted on March 10 has garnered 6302 likes, 273 users have shared it and 299 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Lamichhane reacquired his citizenship on January 29 after the apex court annulled his election to the House of Representatives. On February 7, a complaint was lodged against Lamichhane that he obtained Nepali passport through invalid document. The Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office has started collecting evidence after the complaint was registered.

The writ against Lamichhane had questioned that he obtained a Nepali passport on the basis of his invalid citizenship in 2015 even after acquiring US citizenship in 2014.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker looked up for the latest news regarding the passport case of Rabi Lamichhane.  We found a news article published in The Kathmandu Post online on March 7. The news article stated that the Supreme Court has said that the passport issue of Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane will be resolved as per the prevailing laws on passports. The report cited a full text of the January verdict of the Supreme Court that relieved Lamichhane of membership of the House of Representatives.

As the passport case of Lamichhane is being looked into by Kathmandu district attorney’s office, we reached out to Joint Attorney Achyutmani Neupane, who confirmed that the case is still being investigated. He added that the final verdict on the case has not been issued.

Further, we noticed a watermark of Tajakhabar.com on the screen of the viral video. Taking it as a clue, we conducted a search on the channel named Taja Khabar TV and found a video whose frame matched the viral video. On watching the video thoroughly, we found that the news were unverified and not sourced properly. 


Our investigations illustrate that the Supreme Court has not cleared Rabi Lamichhane on his passport case.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that the apex court has given a clean-chit to Rabi Lamichhane on the controversy regarding his passport is false.

Result: False


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, email us at checkthis@newschecker.co  You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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