Introduction to Itachapali

Itachapali was a Criminal Court established during the Malla Dynasty for the hearing and dispensation of Justice related to Criminal Cases. It was considered a respected Court during the Malla Dynasty and acted as the Intermediary between the King and Dware. However, the Origin and the Evolution of this Court aren’t known at all. This Court continued till the reign of the Shah Dynasty in Nepal.

This Court had been given the Right to hear cases related to Treason, Murder, Theft, Robbery, Cow Murder, etc. These Crimes were considered Heinous at the time and generally resulted in Death Penalty. Therefore, this court was carefully given Jurisdiction over very sensitive cases.

Primarily, the Local Administration, including Pratihar was given the Jurisdiction to watch over these Criminal Cases. However, people aren’t always satisfied with the given decisions. Therefore, they would request for an appeal or a review at the Itachapali Court.

Then, the Itachapali Court would collect evidence and witness, hear both sides and give the Final Verdict according to Dharma Shastras. If the Decision of Itachapali was considered to have been unjust, it could be appealed again in front of the King.

In Addition to the Hearing and Reviewing of Cases, Itachapali would also secure papers/documents related to Law and Past Cases. They would provide Written Instructions and Likhits to those who asked for them.

To manage these Courts, many Government Officers were elected. These Government Officers had various responsibilities according to the task at hand. The Justice Giver had to be a smart Brahmin who knew the Dharma Shastras Fluently. The Writer and Note-Keeper should be literate and capable of writing.

The Major Officer who had to hear and give his final verdict on the Crimes was known as Karmadakshya or Nyayakari. After the rise of the Shah Dynasty in Nepal, Itachapali Court persisted. Later, this same Court was turned into a Criminal Court to deal with only Criminal Cases.

Functions of Itachapali Court

Hearing of Criminal Cases

Itachapali was an important Criminal Court whose Primary Function was to hear the Criminal Cases that arose within the realm. Criminal Cases such as Theft, Robbery were frequent in Nepal at the time but Criminal Cases of Heinous nature were quite a few. Therefore, the primary duty of this court wasn’t as difficult as that of Kotling Court.

Just Verdict of Criminal Cases

Criminal Cases were sensitive in Nature. They Still are. Therefore, any Miscalculation of Missing Evidence could cause irreversible damage to the Defendant. Consequently, this court had to rely on facts and give analytical decisions as well.

Protection Of Files

As the cases that were reported on the Itachapali Court were few, they had other Functions that they had to manage. Among the Function was the Protection of Files. They had to keep multiple records of their Cases and other relevant information and likewise protect them from getting Lost or Undermined.

Act as Appellate Court

The Judicial Importance of the Itachapali Court was comparable to that of the Kotling Court. The Major Difference was that Itachapali dealt with Legal Matters whereas Kotling dealt with Civil Matters.

After the cases couldn’t be solved by the Panchasamuchhaya and Pratihar or the defendant wouldn’t satisfy with the verdict, they had to register the case to Itachapali Court. After that, the Court would review the Case and give the Final Verdict. If the Verdict isn’t satisfactory, they would further appeal it to the King.


The Justice Giver in the Itachapali Court had to be a wise Brahmin fluent in Dharma Shastras. The court had to act as an Appellate Court. It also acted as an intermediary between the King and Dware. It is responsible for Hearing and giving decisions for Criminal Cases of a Heinous Nature. It was, therefore, an important Crimnal Court during the Malla Dynasty in Nepal.


Pokhrel, A. (2023). Itachapali – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History.