Lawyers questioned the intention of the Ministry of Defence
Kathmandu, Dec 1-Pleading in the Supreme Court, former Law Minister Subhas Nembang questioned the intention of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) while promulgating the NGOs’ code of conduct.
“The MoD has done with a malafide motive and has clearly directed the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) to control NGOs,” he argued. He also sought the Supreme Court ruling to the MoD to clarify its stand on the issue.
Nembang was pleading before a full bench comprising Justices Sharada Shrestha, Hari Jung Sijapati and Top Bahadur Magar which has been testing the constitutionality of the conduct code.
“The MoD ‘directed’ the MWCSW and infringed upon its jurisdiction, which is against the spirit of the 1990 Constitution,” Nembang added. “Now the MoD has to justify under which legal right did it directed the MWCSW to promulgate the NGO code,” he adding, “Due to the MoD’s direction on the issue it is proved that the present government is not a civil government.”
“There was no need to send a letter to the Operation Department of the RNA or the Department of the Chief of General Staff of the MoD,” he added.
Advocates Sapna Pradhan Malla, Bhimarjun Acharya and Bishnu Chapagain claimed that the code of conduct was issued against the spirit of the 1990 Constitution. They sought the SC order to continue the stay order issued last week till a final decision in the case.
Mainwhile The Social Welfare Council (SWC) has started sending supporters of the February 1 Royal move as "consultants" to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), The Kathmandu Post reported Wednesday.
Diwakar Chand has been designated as a "consultant" to one of the popular NGOs. He was member-secretary of the Panchayat era Social Service Coordination Council.
A number of NGOs, including Center for Victims of Torture (CEVICT) and Blue Diamond Society have already received letters from the SWC, the report said.
Member-secretary of SWC Sharad Sharma, however, said it was a regular exercise.
"This is done to make organizations accountable," he said, adding that the SWC has readied the roster for some 100 to 150 consultants on the basis of their expertise to study various NGOs.
However, a multitude of NGOs in Nepal have termed the latest move as "government intervention."
Dr Arjun Karki, president of the NGO Federation Nepal lamented that NGOs have to bear the burden of paying these "consultants".