Thursday, June 15, 2006

Acts related to Army being revised

The government is revising all Acts and Regulations related to the Nepalese Army to make them relevant to the declaration of the House of Representatives, 2006. For this purpose, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun the drafting process of new laws as well as amending the "provisions with autocratic and outdated language" in the existing Acts and Regulations of the Army.
“We are studying the provisions in the four Acts and 25 Regulations related to the Army to revise them as per the changed context,” said Bhupendra Poudel, the spokesperson at MoD. The Military Act, 1959, which was amended for the fourth time in 2000, may be amended one more time, while 25 different Regulations will be extensively revised.
The Military Act, 1959, was first amended in 1963, expanding its jurisdiction; it was amended for the second time in 1966 for technical purposes and the third amendment of the Act in 1983 had changed the name of Army from Royal Army to Royal Nepalese Army. The declaration of the House now has renamed the Royal Nepalese Army as Nepalese Army; scrapped the provision of King as a Supreme Commader In Chief of the Army and also brought the Army under parliament.
“This has created a necessity to amend some provisions, language and certain terminologies in the Acts and Regulations of the Army,” say MoD officials.Apart from the Military Act, 1959, Act related to the Duty, Rights and Service of the Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), 1969, National Cadet Corps 1970 and the Army and Delegation of the Authority Act, 1958, are being studied by the officials at the MoD. The revision will also address some of the current provisions which are inconsistent with each other in those Acts and Regulations. For instance, a provision in the Act related to CoAS has stipulated the tenure of Army Chief as only four years; but a General, whose tenure is five years according to the Act related to the appointment and promotion of a soldier, is appointed as the Army Chief.
The government, through these revisions, will also make sure that that the Army would not be allowed to publish the books of Acts even for its internal purposes. “The Army used to print and also distribute such books of Acts for its internal purposes, which will have to stop,” said the MoD officials.The revision will also see the changes in the organisational structure as per the international standard. Currently, there are 19 levels from followers to the General, while the position of Field Marshal is also being scrapped soon.
“The Army will be consulted for technical provisions while other experts will also be consulted in the process of drafting those laws,” said Poudel, the spokesperson at the Ministry. So far the government has not allocated any budget, neither formed any special committee to revise these laws. “Soon we will have such a team,” the ministry officials said.

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