Thursday, December 08, 2005

Code of Conduct legal: Govt. attorneys

Kathmandu Dec 8-Pleading on behalf of the government on a controversial Social Welfare Ordinance and the Code of Conduct for Social Organisations the government attorneys on Wednesday claimed that the Code of Conduct was constitutional.

They said that there is no need for the Supreme Court (SC) to test the constitutionality of the code as the code was issued after the government promulgated the Social Welfare Council Ordinance with the consent of the King.

Pleading before the special bench comprising justices Sharada Shrestha, Hari Jung Sijapati and Top Bahadur Magar, the deputy attorney-general, Narendra Prasad Pathak, said that there is no need for the apex court to test the legality of the code, adding, "The government has the authority to regulate the non-governmental organisations (NGOs'), too."

Advocate Harishanker Niroula said His Majesty has promulgated the Social Welfare Ordinance as per the Constitution and without violating the fundamental rights and argued that it was not against the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal and relevant Act and Law.

Likewise, advocate Brajesh Pyakurel said code of conduct have been developed for people in other profession like journalism and medicine also and present code of conduct was prepared in pursuance to the Social Welfare Ordinance, while adding that the Ordinance gives opportunity for clarification and does not provides for dissolution of the organisation.

The Special bench of SC is testing the constitutionality of the code of conduct, which is facing wrath, from various walks of life.

NGO federation of Nepal, an umbrella organization of over 2,600 NGOs' of the country had already announced protest program against the code saying the code was formed to curb the activities of social organization.

However, the Social Welfare Council said the code was an attempt to systematize social organizations of the country and make them transparent.

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