House endorses amendment bill on Transitional Justice Act

  • Two transitional justice bodies will get one-year extension and new officials
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Feb 7, 2019-

The federal parliament on Wednesday endorsed an amendment bill on the Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons and Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act-2014, clearing the legal hurdles for the extension of the terms of two transitional justice bodies.

The current mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons expires this Saturday. The amendment bill, which was endorsed by the National Assembly on Sunday, was tabled in the House of Representatives on Wednesday itself.

Except for the Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party, all other parties stood for the amendment, which envisions

restructuring of the commissions as demanded by victims’ organisations.

Though both the commissions will be getting one more year, its chairpersons and members will continue only until mid-April.

The Cabinet on January 28 had approved the proposal for the term extension and the amendment bill to this effect was registered in the Upper House the following day.

Presenting the bill for the approval in the Lower House on Wednesday, Minister for Law and Justice Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal claimed an amendment was a must to avoid a situation of legal vacuum.

An amendment to the Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons and Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act-2014 is a must for the continuation of the two commissions formed in February 2015.

“An amendment is must to take the transitional justice process forward,” said Dhakal. “We will come with a new law very soon which will clear all the hurdles facing the process at present.”

The amendment will be applicable once President Bidya Devi Bhandari authenticates it. The terms of the two commissions will now be extended till February 9, 2020 with a possibility of extension of one more year after the authentication.

Conflict victims of late have been calling for “restructuring” of the two commissions, seeking their larger role in the transitional justice process.

They have blamed the incumbent leadership for the poor show of the commissions which are running too slow in investigating into the complaints filed with them.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has received around 63,000 complaints while it has completed preliminary investigation into 4,000 cases only. Similarly, the disappearance commission conducted primary investigation into around 2,200, out of 3,000 complaints filed with it.

Published: 07-02-2019 10:48

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