Print Edition - 2014-07-10  |  News

Govt to SC: TRC Act doesn’t grant amnesty to serious offenders

- Pranab Kharel, Kathmandu

Jul 9, 2014-The government has maintained that the perpetrators of serious crimes committed during the conflict period cannot be granted amnesty unless the victim is convinced by the apology from the former.

Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act points out criteria to be met by the perpetrators to be eligible for amnesty, it cannot be argued that the Act envisions blanket amnesty for serious crimes, Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudel says in his written reply furnished to the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday.

According to the Section 26 (4) of the Act, the perpetrator is to submit an application in writing for amnesty to the TRC, admitting to have committed gross violation of human rights during the armed conflict, regret for having committed such wrong acts and declaration of willingness to make an apology with victim’s satisfaction, and express commitment never to repeat such acts.

Poudel also maintains that it is baseless to argue that blanket amnesty could be awarded to those implicated in serious human rights violation as the Act provisions that National Human Rights Commission monitor the implementation of recommendation made by the TRC.

 A total of 234 victims from both the rebel and the state sides had lodged a petition on June 3, claiming the provisions in the newly enacted TRC Act regarding amnesty and reconciliation are inconsistent with the SC order.

They have demanded an amendment to Section 22 of the Act that allows the TRC to mediate for reconciliation on the request of either perpetrator or victim.

The Section 25 of the Act that excludes the cases for prosecution that are subjected to the reconciliation, and Section 26 that gives TRC discretionary powers to grant amnesty for serious crimes are also challenged in the court.

Victims  have also demanded amendment to the Section 13 of the ACT which has provision of bringing sub-judice cases under the TRC’s jurisdiction.  The SC had ruled out amnesty for serious crimes and ordered the government to follow international standards while institutionalising two separate commissions on enforced disappearances, and truth and reconciliation.

Published: 10-07-2014 08:50

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