Job application call for TRC challenged in SC

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 23, 2014-

The decision of the nomination panel for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission appointments to call for applications for TRC member posts has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

A group of conflict victims moved the apex court against the decision on Tuesday, claiming that the formation of the panel itself is sub judice along with the amnesty and reconciliation provisions in the TRC Act.   

On September 19, the panel had called for applications for the positions of TRC member. It had asked the candidates to submit their applications by September 27.

 The petitioners have argued that when the panel itself is formed unconstitutionally, its decisions are automatically rendered illegitimate. The panel is led by former chief justice Om Bhakta Shrestha, event though the transitional justice law bars former head of judiciary from assuming government positions, excepting the position of chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.

The legitimacy of the nomination panel for TRC appointments is already a matter of debate because of Shrestha’s appointment. The case is currently in litigation.

Another case pending in the court is concerning the provisions on amnesty and reconciliation in the TRC Act which, the petitioners claim, are inconsistent with the order of the apex court.

The SC had ruled out general amnesty for serious crimes and ordered the government to follow international standards while institutionalising two separate commissions on enforced disappearances, and truth and reconciliation.

The petitioners have demanded amendment to Section 22 of the Act that allows the commission to mediate for reconciliation, if either perpetrator or victim make a request. The other provisions challenged in the court are Section 25 which 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. They have also raised procedural and legal issues about setting up the commission functioning independently.

The petitioners have demanded amendment to the Section 13 which has provision of bringing sub judice cases under the TRC’s jurisdiction; Section 24 which excludes stakeholders while returning confiscated properties; and Section 29 which apparently limits the roles of the attorney general and the public prosecutor in filing cases.

Published: 24-09-2014 09:18

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