Friday, September 15, 2006

Scrap provision to seize convicts’ properties: SC

The Supreme Court on thrusday directed the government authorities to scrap the existing provisions of several acts that authorise court to seize property of convicts serving life sentence for heinous crimes.

A special bench comprising Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Badri Kumar Basnet and Pawan Kumar Ojha, issued the directive to the government authorities, including the Office of Prime Minister Office and Cabinet and the Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to scrap such provisions.

“Since the provisions to forfeit property is inconsistent with the international rights instruments signed by the Nepal government, the government should do away with them,” the bench observed while responding to a writ petition filed by advocate Achyut Prasad Kharel five months ago.
There are provisions to confiscate the properties of those convicted to life in several crimes under the Successor to the Throne Act 2044BS, Procession and Transport Management Act 2049, Military Act 2016, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Control and Punishment Act 2002, and Muluki Ain (Civil Code) 2020.

The writ petitioner had sought an apex court order to scrap the provisions that allow confiscating the properties of such convicts, arguing that they would not be able to survive without property after serving the sentence.

“These provisions affect the right to life,” the petitioner added. According to him, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights bar to confiscating the properties of the convicts. He claimed that life sentence was enough punishment for heinous crimes and there was no need to further penalise them by seizing their properties.

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