Writ challenges Centre’s circular on education laws

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Jan 6, 2019-

The federal government’s circular to ask local governments not to formulate any laws regarding education without its prior consent has been challenged at the apex court claiming that it is a blatant violation of the statute.

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration on December 27 had issued the circular to 753 local governments, asking them to consult with it before formulating any laws. It also asked them to wait for the Federal Education Act

before coming up with a local legislation.

Advocate Sunil Rajan Singh, who is also a member of the Local Level Restructuring Commission, on Friday filed a writ at the Supreme Court asking to scrap the circular. In the writ, Singh has claimed the circular is against several provisions in the statute that give the local governments the authority to formulate the education law as per their need.

“As a member of the commission I am well aware about the authority of the local governments. Instead of taking proactive role in implementing the constitution, the federal government has flouted it by issuing such a circular,” Singh said in the writ, seeking the apex court’s intervention in scrapping the circular and directing the central government not to take any measures to stop the local governments from formulating the necessary laws.

The Federation of Rural Municipality has also submitted a memorandum to the federal government to withdraw the circular.

Citing Schedule 9 of the Constitution of Nepal, the ministry has said in the circular that education comes under the concurrent legislative list on which all three tiers of government can act. “The local federal administrations should be mindful that their laws don’t contradict with the one formulated by the federal government,” it says, while calling on the local governments to coordinate with the Centre before taking any decision on hiring and firing of staff.

The writ says as Schedule 8 gives the local governments explicit authority to manage school education, they are free to take any necessary measures to manage the school level education in their area.

Local level representatives have a feeling that the central government is treating the local governments as its subordinates, going against the spirit of the constitution. The Constitution of Nepal, which came into force three years ago, accords equal status to the three tiers of government.

Talking to the Post last week, Lalitpur Metropolitan City Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan said frequent interventions by the federal government had hit their performance including in school education.

Published: 06-01-2019 07:56

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