Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hearing Continues on code of conduct case

Kathmandu , Dec. 13- Senior lawyers, pleading before the Special Bench Monday protect on the writ petitions filed at the Supreme Court against the recently issued ‘Code of Conduct for Social Organisations and Institutions –2062’, by the Social Welfare Council (SWC).The defendant lawyerssenior advocate Kunja Bihari Prasad Singh and advocate Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai pleaded on behalf of the SWC, on the separate writ petitions against the code of conduct filed by Gopal Siwakoti Chintan and Dr. Arjun Karki.
The bench was comprised of justices Sharada Shrestha, Hari Jung Sijapati and Tap Bahadur Magar and the hearing will continue next Sunday.Pleading before the bench, senior advocate Singh said that the recently issued code of conduct was transparent and unprejudiced, as the Council had issued the ‘Code of Conduct’ after holding discussions with the national and international stakeholders including experts before bringing finally deciding to implement it.The issue of implementing a ‘Code of Conduct’ had already been published in Nepal Royal Gazette, he said citing past experiences that the several senior government officials including ministers had endorsed malpractice by establishing NGOs in the name of their wives and other family members, he said.It was not necessary to issue an interim order, as the petitions do not fall under the ambit of Article 88 (1) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990, Singh argued.
Advocate Bhattarai said that the ‘Code of Conduct’ was necessary for the government, as there were only 28 thousand social organisations registered in the SWC out of 40 thousand NGOs operating across the country. The then government of the political parties had also realised the fact to regulate NGOs in 2056/57 BS, he added: “The regulation of the NGOs falls under the parameter of national security.”The government had made detailed homework since a long time, as the issuance of the ‘Code of Conduct’ had become the matter of the then parliament of the House of Representatives, he said.

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