Human Rights Commission objects to bill to amend its Act

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Apr 21, 2019-

The National Human Rights Commission has objected to a bill to amend the National Human Rights Commission Act-2012, saying the government is trying to undermine the rights body’s authority by forcing it to recommend the cases it has investigated to the attorney general.

 The constitutional body has also said the government ignored its recommendations while drafting the amendment bill. The commission had submitted a 17-point recommendation to the government, as revision in the existing Act was necessary to ensure conformity with the constitution.

“Not a single recommendation has been incorporated in the draft,” said Anup Raj Sharma, chairperson of the commission, during an interaction in the Capital on Saturday.

“To our utter surprise, the Cabinet endorsed the bill within a couple of days

after I personally requested Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to come up with the bill incorporating our recommendations.”

The Bill to Amend the National Human Rights Commission Act-2012, which is set to be registered in the federal parliament, makes it mandatory for the commission to recommend cases against human rights violators—individuals or institutions—to the attorney general. The bill also proposes removing Sub-clause 2 of Clause 27 of the Act, which would bar the commission from opening regional, sub-regional and contact offices in different parts of the country. Clause 17 (3) of the new bill proposes that the attorney general can request the commission for further investigation or collection of more evidence, if necessary, before deciding to register the case.

Clause 17 (1) of the law says the commission will have to write to the concerned official, individual or agency for implementation of the recommendations, decision or order issued by the commission pursuant to the constitution or the Act.

The bill also proposes removing Sub-clause 2 of Clause 27 of the Act, which would bar the commission from opening regional, sub-regional and contact offices in different parts of the country.

“The commission is in the state of confusion and instability at present,” said Govind Sharma Poudel, a member of the commission at the interaction.

“Now we are moving at the state where attorney general will dictate us.”

Published: 21-04-2019 10:33

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