Thursday, July 28, 2005


Deuba can move UN rights panel

Kathmandu, July 28-Legal experts suggested the six accused, including former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and former minister Prakash Man Singh, could directly appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, challenging the Royal Commission for Corruption Control’s decision, which sentenced them and slapped a fine on each in connection with alleged corruption in the proposed Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP).In an interaction programme organised by the National Concern Society, general secretary Gopal Siwakoti Chantan said the convicted had the right to directly appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee, as Nepal has already ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 on May 14, 1991.“The defendants (Deuba and others) can appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee for legal remedy as Nepal has already ratified the covenant; the ruling of the committee is binding on the country,” he said, adding that domestic law automatically becomes null and void if it contradicts international law.The convicted have to appeal to the UN committee within six months from the date of the verdict, he said, adding that hundreds of lawyers would be ready to defend them.Others who were convicted yesterday included secretary Tika Datta Niraula, executive director of MDWP Dhruba Bahadur Shrestha, deputy executive director of the project Dipak Kumar Jha and local contractor Jip Chiring Lama.Another lawyer Bhimarjun Acharya said the UN Human Rights Committee could overrule the RCCC’s decision as the commission was extra-constitutional and it is not “efficient, independent or impartial” from the point of view of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966.They also advised the accused not to challenge RCCC’s decision in any other court of appeal as it would give legitimacy to the commission’s formation and procedures of investigation, prosecution and verdict. They also said the accused could not be jailed as the RCCC’s verdict was not final.

Courtesy:Himalayan News Service

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