UCPN (Maoist) objects to curbs on commissions’ jurisdiction

  • apex court ruling on transitional justice mechanism
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Mar 9, 2015-

The UCPN (Maoist) on Monday objected to a recent verdict of the Supreme Court that prohibits the Commissions of Inquiry on Truth and Reconciliation (TRC), and Enforced Disappearances from looking into cases sub judice in court.

The former rebel party said that all war-era cases should be handed over to the newly formed commissions.

The SC, on February 27, had given a verdict that cases sub judice in court cannot be dealt by the TRC as they fall under the purview of the court.

Organising a press conference, Prabhu Sah, head of the party’s legal department, said that the Maoists would take up this issue with the ruling parties in cross-party negotiations. He said that the order should be corrected. He argued that Parliament can correct the SC verdict if there is the need for it.

The main opposition party has been saying that it is not in favour of blanket amnesty but the transitional justice mechanism should give a message of reconciliation in society.

The TRC chairman and members have welcomed the SC verdict saying that their jurisdiction has now been clear.

The party that waged a 10-year insurgency said that as per the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, all the war-era cases should be dealt by the TRC and the regular court should not take up those issues.

“If war-era cases are dealt in piecemeal, it would drive the country back to another conflict. The spirit of the CPA is reconciliation in society,” said Sah. He informed that Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leaders Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha are in discussion seeking ways to deal with war-era cases.

The SC in its verdict maintained that the provision of amnesty in the TRC law is against the established principles of justice, constitutional provision, international law and its earlier order. On less serious crimes where amnesty is permissible, the court has made it mandatory to take consent of the victims.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein on Thursday welcomed the apex court decision to strike down a clause giving the commissions power to recommend amnesty for serious human rights violations committed during the insurgency period.

Earlier, the commissions could recommend amnesty to perpetrators if deemed reasonable, except in cases of rape and grave rights violations. The decision has barred the commissions from initiating reconciliation on their own without victims’ consent.

On January 2 2014, the SC said there could be no amnesties for serious rights violations. Despite the ruling, the Act promulgated in May 2014 still included provisions for the commissions to recommend amnesty for serious human rights violations.

Published: 10-03-2015 08:46

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