Friday, June 30, 2006
A meeting of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) decided to examine the constitutionality and legality of the eight-point agreement reached between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Maoists on June 16.
The 8-point agreement has agreed, among others, to dissolve the revived HoR after finding an appropriate alternative to it. The committee is also scheduled to examine the constitutionality of the declaration and political commitments made by the HoR.A statement issued by the committee expressed satisfaction over the understandings and agreements reached between the alliance and the Maoists at different stages.
“We have decided to examine the constitutionality and legality of the eight-point agreement between the SPA and the Maoists in light of the 1990’s constitution and the HoR declaration of May 18,” said Puskar Nath Ojha, a member of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Sources within the committee said that the panel members thought of examining the agreement after they found problems in it.The agreement was signed, among others, by Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda at the PM’s residence at BaluwatarOjha said they decided to scrutinise the 8-point agreement as per the committee’s jurisdiction that allows examining the government’s decisions.
The committee is also authorised to issue directives to the government and submit reports to the HoR in all constitutional and legal issues. He said that the committee would start examining the agreement from July 4.“If the agreement is deemed unconstitutional or inappropriate from the point of view of the 1990’s constitution and the HoR declaration, the committee will issue directives to make corrections on it,” he said.
He, however, said that the committee has not officially received a copy of the agreement so far
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to take up a contempt of court case against Lieutenant Colonel of the Bhairavnath Battalion, Rajendra Jung Khatri and chief of the legal unit of Nepal Army, BA Kumar Sharma.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The Supreme Court Wednesday defined nine places as no smoking zones however, fifteen days had past since it ordered the government to prohibit smoking in public places.
According to the full text of the verdict on tobacco consumption at public places, the no smoking zones are offices that provide public service, educational institutions, public vehicles, bus parks, ticket counters, public entertainment places and places/ buildings of public gathering.
Besides, the court has given one year deadline for the government to ban smoking in public places and enforce anti-tobacco laws. Justices Anup Raj Sharma and Rajendra Prasad Koirala prepared the verdict. As per the verdict, the government is also required to prohibit publication of advertisements of tobacco in print media as soon as possible.
The High-Level Investigation Commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi today summoned four ‘royalists’ on the charge of suppressing people during the Jana Andolan.
According to member of the commission Harihar Birahi, the commission summoned former Chief of Army Staffs (CoAS) Satchit SJB Rana, former minister of the royal cabinet Niranjan Thapa, Nepal Police’s Deputy Inspector General Krishna Basnet and Additional Inspector General of Armed Police Force Ravi Raj Thapa to attend before the commission on Friday at 11 am.
The commission alleged that former CoAS Rana and former Minister Thapa had played a “key role” to “provoke the King” against democracy and the two former police officials had “suppressed people” by directly using force during the movement. Basnet and Thapa were suspended by the government following the revival of the House of epresentatives. “Former CoAS Rana and former Minister Thapa were among the members of the watch list of the commission as we have already recommended the government not to allow them to go outside the country,” said another member.
Thapa was the former minister of law, justice and parliamentary affairs and had played a “main role” in the unconstitutional establishment of the dismissed Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC). “The King’s regime had used the RCCC as a tool to take revenge against political leaders and Thapa had appointed royalists in the judiciary to support the royal move,” the member added. The commission also said it has summoned the suspended security officials as the Rayamajhi commission will decide about their cases.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Rayamajhi Panel Grills Dr Giri, Rana, Mandal
Giri reached the commission office at around 10:50 am. Before entering the commission office, Dr Giri said he decided to present himself before the commission as he believed in rule of law.
Similarly, a minister in the royal government, Nichchhe SJB Rana was also grilled by the commission. Rana reached the commission at around 11 am. Likewise, former royal government minister Badri Prasad Mandal also gave his statement.
The commission had summoned the three in connection with the probe into use of excessive force to suppress the democratic movement when they were in power.
Earlier, The High Level Probe Commission has summoned Dr. Tulsi Giri, Vice Chairman of the Royal government and two other ministers Badri Mandal and Nikshya Shumsher Rana to be present at the commission at 11 a.m. on Tuesday for explanation. Letters regarding summon were handed over at their residences on Sunday, said the commission.
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Interim Constitution Drafting Committee began its informal work from Monday after a meeting between the government and Maoist talks teams on Sunday decided to give full shape to the committee.
The committee members went to their office at the Peace Secretariat at the Singha Durbar and began their work. The meeting of talks teams of the government and the Maoists had yesterday decided to induct one woman and another member in the committee headed by former Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal.
Even as the two members were supposed be nominated Sunday itself no appointment was made till 6:15 p.m. today.
The drafting committee, which has been given 15 days timeframe to draft the interim constitution, has president of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Shambhu Thapa, senior advocates Sindhunath Pyakurel and Harihar Dahal, former attorney general Mahadev Yadav and advocate Khim Lal Devkota.
Friday, June 23, 2006
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government to produce the recommendation report by the high-level judicial probe commission led by former SC justice Krishna Jung Raymajhi to take action against Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Pyar Jung Thapa ekantipur reports .
A single bench of SC Justice Kalyan Shrestha issued the order Friday afternoon following a hearing on a case filed at the Apex Court demanding the suspension of CoAS Thapa, Acting Armed Police Force (APF) IGP Basudev Oli and DIG Dilip Kumar Shrestha.
Last Tuesday, four lawyers representing the Human Rights Organisation Nepal had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) at the SC seeking a court order to the government to suspend army chief Thapa, acting APF chief Oli and DIG Shrestha.
In the PIL writ, the lawyers have argued that though the government (following the Rayamajhi Commission's recommendation) suspended the then Nepal Police and APF IGPs, it didn't take any action against Thapa, Oli and Shrestha.
The lawyers claimed that Thapa, Oli and Shrestha, too, were responsible for suppressing the recent popular movement and were guilty of human rights violations.
"If they are not suspended immediately, they may tamper with the evidence needed by the High-level Probe Commission. Therefore, the court should order the government to suspend them," the lawyers argued in the petition.
Soon after its formation, the Raymajhi Commission had recommended the government to suspend all security chiefs, including army chief Thapa. Following the commission's recommendation, the government had suspended the then Nepal Police IGP, Shyam Bhakta Thapa and then APF IGP Sahabir Thapa but no action was taken against the army chief.
Following the government's apathy to implement its verdict, the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which government authorities were ignoring court rulings.
The court on Thursday ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to issue circulars to all line agencies and offices asking them to strictly follow the court rulings and cooperate with the courts in delivering justice.
A division bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma and Kalyan Shrestha further warned that it would initiate legal action against any office or department found ignoring the court orders.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has commenced investigation into Inland Revenue Department's (IRD's) decision to pledge excise waiver to four liquor companies against Financial Regulations ekantipr reports.
The commission, informing Ministry of Finance (MoF) of its investigation, on Sunday took over the case, which involved financial irregularity of over Rs 90 million.
"CIAA has already acquired duplicate copies of the decision and other documents related to the case," said a highly placed source. He informed the Post that the MoF has, however, sought additional time to hand over original set of documents, as it is internally investigating the case through a committee.
"We forwarded the copies of the documents on Sunday. If CIAA deems necessary, we can hand over original copies as well. But since internal team of the ministry is studying the case, we have requested the commission for a few days to hand over all the original papers," said the official. The MoF last week constituted a three-member committee under the coordination of Surendra Mani Tripathy to probe the case. The committee is required to submit its report by Sunday.
The case of illegal excise waiver had come to the anti-corruption watchdog's notice after the Post ran a story on it last week. Director General of IRD Rana Bahadur Shrestha and the then acting Secretary of MoF Pramod Karki had decided to pledge special concessions to four liquor companies - Nepal Liquor, Sumi, Highland and McDowells Nepal - on the last day of the king's direct rule.
The decision was against governing laws, as according to Financial Regulations only the Cabinet has authority to decide on cases of duty waiver. Even the Finance Minister cannot take and implement waiver decisions, unless it is incorporated in the Financial Regulation.
Meanwhile, the MoF's three-member probe committee has already started investigation into the case. According to a source, the team is currently studying the proposal forwarded by the IRD and decision of the Ministry on it.
He further said that the team members and senior ministry officials also are raising questions over the relevance of keeping intact the decision taken at a level beyond its authority. They have strongly voiced that the decision be made 'null and void'.
"The committee is studying whether acting Secretary can decide on excise waiver when that is not mentioned in the Financial Ordinance," said the source.
The committee is also assessing if IRD has discretionary authority to step on the Supreme Court's verdict, issued in favor of a single company - Sharad Distillery, to pledge concessions to just the four other companies, excluding 30 others from the facility.
Case filed against army chief
Ram Maya Nakarmi, wife of Padam Narayan Nakarmi who is among 49 people allegedly disappeared by the state from the Nepali Army's Bhairabnath Battalion at Maharajgung, filed a case of murder against army chief General Pyar Jung Thapa and four other army officers, at Kathmandu District Police Office, Monday.
In the case ,Nakarmi has accused the army chief, then commander of the battalion Lieutenant Colonel Raju Basnet, Major Bibek Bista, Captain Indibar Rana and chief of the Directorate of Military Intelligence Dilip Rayamajhi, of murdering Padam Narayan.
There is states that army personnel in civvies took Padam Narayan from his house at Lalitpur sub-metropolis Ward No. 3 on September 22, 2003, stating that they had a few questions to ask him.
"When I asked them who they were and why they were taking my husband away, they replied that they were army personnel and even produced their identity cards," Nakarmi has written in her complaint.
UNHCR unhappy with Nepal
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed dissatisfaction with Nepal for turning a deaf ear to its repeated appeals for third country resettlement of Bhutanese refugees, who have been sheltering under the protection of UNHCR since 1990.
The UNHCR Global Report 2005, published on the occasion of World Refugee Day that falls on June 20, said the possibility of resettlement to a third country was another encouraging sign, besides the active engagement of both the governments of Nepal and Bhutan in finding solutions for refugees in Nepal. "However, Nepal insists that repatriation to Bhutan must begin before other solutions are considered. For this reason, despite UNHCR's repeated appeals, Nepal has not yet approved re-registration nor permitted the departure of refugees with special needs for resettlement," the report said.
However, Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pradip Khatiwada, said, "Nepal has no headache for such proposal if any foreign country wants to take our burden of over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees with certain policy and time frame."
On Friday, Resident Representative of UNHCR, Abraham Abraham, said that approximately 10,000 to 12,000 physically and mentally sound refugees, could be resettled in a third country annually if there was no possibility of repatriation or local integration.
Regarding the request for re-registration of refugees, another government official said that the new government could resume that process after modifying certain provisions.
The UNHCR has also criticized the government for not issuing birth certificates to refugee children and slow pace in providing identification documents to other immigrants, including nearly 20,000 Tibetans who arrived before 1990.
A Home Ministry official said that there was no legal provision of providing birth certificates to foreigners. "However, Local Development Ministry has recently sent a positive proposal to home and law ministries to take necessary decision in this regard," he informed.
Regarding the identification documents of Tibetans, he said that the report was baseless. The government had provided identification documents for those Tibetans, who arrived in Nepal before December 1989. Since 1990, the government decided to stop this as it was a never-ending process, he added.
The UNHCR has also said the government decision on suspending exit permits and other travel documents since October 2005, led to an increase in number of Tibetans transiting through Nepal and prolonged stay at the Tibetan reception center. The government resumed issuing travel documents and exit permits for Tibetans last month. According to the report, the UNHCR has been providing necessary support for the Bhutanese refugees, over 4,000 newly-arrived Tibetans and 280 urban refugees and asylum seekers from various countries. There are about 200 Pakistani refugees in Nepal, according to the UNHCR report.
Committee did not needs govt letters: AG
After one day of seeking governtment letter by The recently formed Constitution Drafting Committe, Attorney General Yagyamurti Banjade has said. that committee have need not to wait for letters from the government to start its job.
“Their help was asked by the political parties and as such, there was no need of any formal letter from the government for the commission to start work,” Banjade said, adding, “The members of the committee can start work. The government can provide staff, office and other infrastructure if they need.”
Banjade said the political parties should provide support if they want. Banjade also argued that there was no question of the committee members taking oath of office as the committee is not a government body.
The Attorney General added that the committee members being legal experts, the parities sought their help to prepare the draft but the draft they prepare will not be the final document. “The political parties would make the draft final and would send it to the government to declare that as the interim Constitution,” he said. He added there is confusion over who will announce the Constitution.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Interim Constitution Drafting Committee yet to get formal Letter
Officials of the committee said that they had started their work informally even though they are yet to receive formal letters. The committee has told the government that it will formally begin its job only after meeting the talks team of both the government and the Maoists.
On Sunday, the committee members discussed what kind of help and support they should take from the government staff and whether the statute-making process should be kept secret.
“We will start our formal job only after the government provides letters to us,” another member Harihar Dahal said.
The committee members discussed adopting the achievement of the 1990 movement and the best provisions of the 1990 Constitution along with the fundamental rights as the sources of the new constitution.
The government and the Maoists formed the committee on Friday during the summit talks between the ruling seven party alliance and the Maoists with the mandate of preparing the interim constitution within 15 days.
Mainwhile Convenor of the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee, Laxman Prasad Aryal has said that mainly topics like His Majesty the King's April 24 proclamation, the House of Representatives Declaration of May 18, the Government-Maoist cease-fire of May 26 and the seven parties-Maoists agreement of June 16 would be taken into consideration while making the Interim Constitution.He was Talking to RSS.
Rayamajhi vows to push on with probe
Krishna Jung Rayamajhi, chairman of the High Level Probe Commission, on Sunday said he was aware that the investigations being carried out by the commission could face hurdles.
"We are not too sure if we can carry out our tasks unhindered," he said during a face-to-face program with district level party leaders and persons injured during people's movement II in Butwal. "Since our probe has a broader periphery, obstacles might be created at any point." However, he warned those hindering the commission's probe would not be spared.
The former Supreme Court justice also said that the commission would go to people if there was any obstacles during its assigned tasks. "It will be our weakness if we are unable to complete the duty given to us by the people," he said.
He also assured that no one, including those meddling in the people's movement, inciting people and giving directions to thwart the movement. and human rights abusers, would be spared by the commission.
Belbari probe team questions locals
A team formed by parliament to probe the Belbari killings reached the incident site Sunday and interrogated locals and security personnel. On April 26, army personnel shot dead six locals who were protesting in front of Belbari base camp against the alleged rape and murder of a local woman by soldiders.
Parliament subsequently formed a probe team headed by parliamentarian Pari Thapa. According to Chief District Officer Modnath Dotel, the16-member team consulted Sunday morning about the incident with representatives of the seven parties in the district and rights workers. The locals were protesting against the alleged rape and killing the previous night of Sapana Gurung, 22, a local, when the army personnel opened fire at them. Over two dozen were injured in the incident.
Advocate Chudamani Acharya said that action against the culprits should be initiated in public.
The government is working out the regulations as per the new Company Act, which was introduced to make the companies more competitive and transparent, said Bharat Bahadur Thapa, secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies recently.Speaking at the closing ceremony of 'Training Progrmame for Company Secretaries,' organised by Corporate Financial Governance Project.
Former minister Khadka got clean chit
The Special Court, Kathmandu, on Sunday has given clean chit to former Water Resources Minister and Nepali Congress leader, Khum Bahadur Khadka, and other officials on charge of alleged corruption in the Bakraha irrigation project case.
A special bench of the court comprising chairman of the court, Bhupdhoj Adhikari and Judges Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana and Komal Nath Sharma held that they did not find adequate evidence to prove that there had been corruption in the said project.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed separate cases against former minister Khadka, then Secretary Water Resources Biswonath Sapkota and two other officials nearly four years ago alleging them of indulging in corruption worth over Rs 40 million in the project based in eastern district of Morang.
All of them had pleaded innocence in the case.
SC Orders Release of Ex-Ministers Thapa, Dhakal
The Supreme Court ordered the release of two former minister of the King's Cabinet Home Minister Kamal Thapa and Local Development Minister Tanka Dhakal.
The apex court released them responding to two separate habeas corpus petitions filed at it on June 6 by advocate Namaraj Karki. SC justices Sharada Prasad Pandit and Badri Kumar Basnet issued the order.
The government had taken the duo in preventive detention on May 12 accusing them of hatching conspiracies against the sovereignty of the people.
Mainwhile ,The government released two ministers of the royal cabinet following the Supreme Court (SC)’s order on Sunday.
They were released from the premises of Kathmandu District Court.
The government had arrested five ministers of the royal government in the charge of conspiring against the pro-democracy movement of the country.
Thapa and Dhakal filed habeas corpus writ petitions at the SC on June 5th alleging that the government detained them illegally.
Then home minister Thapa and local development minister Dhakal were arrested on May 12 along with three other former ministers of the King’s cabinet, Ramesh Nath Pandey, Sirish Shumsher Rana and Nikshay Shumsher Rana and were sent to 90-day detention.
Three ministers were released on June 4th. A full bench of the SC comprising of Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel and Justices Min Bahadur Raymajhi, Ram Nagina Singh, Anup Raj Sharma and Khil Raj Regmi gave the release order.
A division bench of SC justices Ram Prasad Shrestha and Rajendra Prasad Koirala called the Attorney General's office saying that the lower court’s verdict on Shobraj’s case may be different. The bench said some of the evidences used against Shobraj were confusing and that they needed to be testified.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Former Justice Aryal to head the interim constitution drafting committee
The government and Maoist rebels have agreed to form a six-member committee led by former Justice of the Supreme Court, Laxman Prasad Aryal, to draft an interim constitution.
A joint statement signed by coordinator of the government negotiating team and Home Minister Krishna P. Sitaula and coordinator of the Maoist negotiating team, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, said the six-member drafting committee has been asked to present its draft to the negotiating team within 15 days.
Other members of the drafting committee include senior advocates Sindhunath Pyakurel and Mahadev Yadav, president of Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa, and advocates Harihar Dahal and Khim Lal Devkota. Pyakurel and Devkota are believed to be close to the CPN (Maoist) while Dahal and Yadav are said to be close to Nepali Congress and Nepali Congress (Democratic) respectively.
The drafting committee will present its draft based on people's rights secured by the people's movement, 12-point understanding between the SPA and the Maoists, and code of conduct signed by the Nepal government and the Maoist rebels, the statement said.
Demanding that women labourers be paid daily wages on a par with men, the District Women Advocacy Forum, Kailali, on Thursday filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court.
"Though women labourers work as hard as men, they are paid less," said Saraswati Chaudhary, a labourer from Kailali.
Despite the legal provision of equal wages for men and women, women labourers are paid Rs 20 to Rs 65 less than men. As women labourers are considered less capable than men, they are being discriminated at work, Chaudhary said.
"We have been advocating for equal wages at village development committees and municipalities for four years, but nobody has taken our demand seriously.
We have come to the capital to make our voice heard in the implementing and policy-making level," said Goma Acharya of the DWAF, Kailali.
Meanwhile, women labourers from Kailali, Bardia, Surkhet, Kapilbastu and Chitwan staged a protest rally and 10-minute chakka jam at Maiti Ghar in the afternoon.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the government to ban smoking in all public places.
A division bench of justices Anup Raj Sharma and Rajendra Prasad Koirala passed the order this afternoon.
The apex court also ordered the government to ban the advertisements of cigarettes and tobacco products in the print media.
Ordering the government to create public awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco use, the SC also asked the government to formulate an appropriate law on smoking.
A non-governmental organization had filed a public interest litigation at the SC asking for the ban a year ago.
The court order will have serious effects on advertising in the print media.
According to BBC, Gajurel is likely to be freed in a few weeks time as he has already spent 34 months in Indian prison. Details were not immediately available.
Indian police in Chennai had arrested Gajurel in August 2003 on charge of attempting to board a flight to London on a forged passport and booked him under the National Security Act.
Upon his return from Delhi on Friday, Prime Minister G P Koirala said Indian authorities were positive towards releasing Maoist leaders and cadres currently being held in India. According to the CPN (M), nearly 140 Maoist leaders and cadres including senior leader Mohan Baidya are still behind bars in India on various charges.
Monday, June 12, 2006
The government has scraped the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance (TADO) with effect from Monday.
The meting of the council of ministers held Monday morning at the prime minister's residence at Baluwatar took the decision, a minister told Nepalnews. The government has also withdrawn the charges imposed on Maoist activists under the ordinance.
The TADO allowed security forces to detain persons accused of terrorism for a year without taking them to court. The ordinance had permitted such detention for 90 days when it was first promulgated in 2002.
The cabinet also took decision to form a Media Council under the chairmanship of the member of the National Assembly and senior advocate Radheshyam Adhikari. Members of the council will include president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), coordinator of Save the Independent Radio Movement (SIRM), and presidents of Nepal Press Union, Press Chautari Nepal and Sancharika Samuha. The director general of the Information Department is member secretary of the council. The council will hand over its first report after two months.
The government also decided to appoint Kul Chanda Wagle, former president of Nepal Press Union, as the advisor at the Ministry of Information and Communication.Similarly, the cabinet meeting finalized regulations regarding functioning of the council of ministers, radio reports said. It is expected to be tabled at today's session of the parliament, after which the parliament will be in recess
Police on Sunday arrested 20 suspects involved in different sorts of crime. Among those arrested are the criminals, who allegedly shot at Dr. Hemang Dixit and Dr. Bir Bahan Rana of Kathmandu Medical College.The suspects were presented before the press at the district police office in Hanuman Dhokha.According to police, one, who called himself as Sandeep Pathak, has been arrested for attempted murder of the two doctors for not giving millions in 'donations'.
Police said he had repeatedly demanded for the money and had given death threats if the doctors decline to yield to his demand.Pathak had shot at Dr. Rana in front of the college at about 10:00 a.m. on Poush 4, 2062 BS, but he survived. Dr. Dixit was shot at Baneshwore Height at about 8:50 am on Baishak 21, 2063 B.S. and was severely wounded. He also survived.Police said Sandeep was part of a gang of criminals involved in demanding extortion money from different medical colleges, organisations and manpower companies.Police have arrested five of the gang who were involved in attempted murder.
They are: Ramchandra Khanal, 39, of Deurali VDC, Man Bahadur Karki, 25, of Majhuwa VDC; Jhalak Basnet, 32, of Namjung VDC all of them from Gorkha district; Prakash Chhetri, 27 of Ratnanagar and Ganesh Jung Ghimire, 37, of Panchakanya of Chitwan district.
Police also arrested four who were involved in extortion. They were arrested while they were forcibly collecting money. They are: Hom Bahadur Khatri, 30, of Gamnang VDC; Jit Bahadur Khatri, 25, who was the younger son of Hom Bahadur, Ganesh Karki, 25, of Tulashi VDC of Dhanusha district, Santosh Khadka, 29, of Gaurigaunj VDC of Jhapa district.
While, Milan Lama who called himself as Sandip Pathak,31, of Kamalamai municipality, Akash K.C, 26, of Hatapatte VDC and Kedar Shrestha of about 27 years of age are still at large. They are all from Sindhuli district.Arrested gang used to call them a group of 'international spider group' whenever they were forcibly collecting money.
Lama was currently living in India, said the police. Police have suspected that Lama had a link with a criminal gang in India.Police have found cash Rs. 50,000 from Hom Bahadur Khatri, motorcycle with plate no. Ba.1 Pa 1157 and a mobile set. Likewise police seized one motorcycle with plate no. Ba. 9 Pa 2912 and cash Rs. 50,000 from Milan Lama while it recovered one set of knife, mobile and a motorcycle with plate No. Ba. 11 Pa 2549 from Santosh Khadka.
Likewise, four of the thieves who robbed the house of Rekh Bahadur Karki at Pepsi Cola have been arrested. They had robbed the house of Karki on June 4.The arrested criminals are: Tek Bahadur Bohara, 19, of Laxmipur VDC of Salyan district, Ajay Lama of Deurali VDC, who is currently living in a rented room at Samakhusi, Rajan Lama, 20, of Sawari VDC of Nuwakot and Ganesh Lama,20, of Deurali VDC of Nuwakot.
Police have recovered Rs. 1,50,000 and one motorcycle with plate no. Ba. 15 Pa 5832 from the thieves. They looted cash Rs. 4,00000 from the house of Karki.Similarly, five pick-pocketers were also arrested from different places of the Kathmandu Valley.Those arrested are: Bijaya Lama,26, of Barhabishe VDC of Sindhupalchowk district, Dilip Lama, 27, of Lisankhu VDC, Bijaya Lama, 21, Lisankhu VDC Ajaya Lama, 23, of Amuledanda VDC and Anil Lama,19, of Atarpul VDC.Police have also seized cash Rs. 10,000 from those arrested.
Likewise, two persons were arrested on charges of stealing a motorcycle. Those arrested are Nima Lama, 20, of Okhaldhunga district and and Tek Bahadur Magar, 20, of Tilpung of Ramechhap district. Magar was living at Balaju in a rented room.
Supreme Court vacated order
The Supreme Court on Sunday vacated its 10-day-old stay order against the government's order to the Moondrops Overseas not to send workers to South Korea.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and Tahir Ali Ansari issued the order to vacate previous SC stay order, issued on June 1 by a single bench of Judge Pawan Kumar Ojha, that had allowed the company to send workers to South Korea.The court on Sunday said there is no need to continue the stay order issued by the single bench on June 1 because the issue is to be settled by the court while delivering a final decision on the case.
The government, as per the Clause 20 of the Foreign Employment Act 1992, had simply ordered the manpower agency not to send workers to South Korea and therefore the issue would be decided in final decision of the case, the bench said.
Sunday's decision prevents the Moondrops Overseas Company to send 695 trainee workers selected recently and the 167 workers who were selected in 2004 to South Korea.
The government had ordered the company not to send the workers to South Korea after it refused to follow the government direction to send 10 per cent workers selected by the government.
Law on real estate business soon
The government is set to introduce an Act on Real Estate business to control haphazard urbanisation through regulations that allow the transaction of only the plotted lands."In the absence of relevant laws on Real Estate business, the people have adopted the practice of purchasing small land, especially in areas having farms to make houses,"said Purna Kadariya, director general at the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DoUDBC).
Saturday, June 10, 2006
HoR Regulations provision to be amended
The provision in the proposed House of Representatives (HoR) Regulations that requires the Supreme Court (SC) justices to swear in before a Special Committee of the House will be changed before the endorsement of the Regulations, an SC source said.
A meeting between the full court of SC justices and a team of parliamentarians led by Law Minister Anand Dhungana Friday afternoon agreed to amend the provision.
All justices of the Apex Court including Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and general secretary of the Parliament Secretariat, Surya Kiran Gurung and secretary of Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party Benup Raj Prasai were present in the meeting.
The proposed HoR Regulations require the SC justices including the Chief Justice to swear in before a Special Committee of the HoR.
"As per the agreement between the two sides, the Chief Justice will swear in the justices," the source said, adding, "In case of the Chief Justice, the meeting proposed that he take the oath of office and secrecy in presence of other justices or through any other provision as taking oath from the king was out of question in the changed situation."
Minister Dhungana and other MPs went to the Apex Court in the afternoon to "discuss and resolve the issue" after an emergency meeting of the full court of SC justices this morning decided not to swear in before House.
The SC justices decided not to take the oath of office and secrecy before the Special Committee of the HoR saying it would be against the principle of independence of the judiciary.
It may be recalled that the judiciary and the legislative were at loggerheads some years back as parliament prepared an anti-corruption bill that proposed to authorize the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to take action against corrupt judges. The move was later aborted.
Friday, June 09, 2006
SC Judges Not to Take Oath Before House
Emergency meeting of the full Supreme Court today decided that the judges will not go to the House of Representatives to take their oath of office and secrecy.The decision was taken after the Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel called an emergency meeting of the full Supreme Court this morning. The meeting was called to discuss the proposed House of Representatives Regulations that make it mandatory for apex court justices to take their oath of office and secrecy before a special committee of parliament.
The Supreme Court Thursday issued a directive order to submit report on minimising the use of tear gas during mass demonstration by forming a committee of experts from health, environment, science and education sectors.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The much awaited draft regulations that seeks to further curtail the king’s privileges and ensure sweeping power to the parliament was tabled at the House of Representatives (HoR) Wednesday.Nepal Peasants and Workers Party (NWPP) chairman Narayan Man Bijukchhe, who headed a 13-member drafting committee, tabled the HoR regulations.The draft proposes to do away with the concept of “king in parliament” adopted by the constitution of the 1990.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
In a reply to the Supreme Court, Nepalese Army (NA) has expressed ignorance about the arrest and detention of a suspected Maoist, said to have been arrested on August 21, 2003. The army's reply is contradictory to reports of national and international rights organizations.
On May 29 this year, chief of the Bhairabnath Battalion Rajendra Jung Khatri told the court in writing that the battalion had never arrested nor detained Chetnath Dhungana alias C N Dhungana. Khatri also expressed ignorance on the whereabouts of Dhungana.
However, separate reports prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) said Dhungana was arrested and detained by the battalion in 2003.
According to the NHRC report submitted to the court, Dhungana was last seen in the battalion on December 20, 2003. "On that day he was taken away in a truck to an unknown destination," said the NHRC report.
Similarly, according to the OHCHR report released recently, Dhungana's name figures in the list of 49 suspected Maoists made to disappear from the battalion in 2003. All the 49 are feared killed.
In its reply to the court, the army has questioned the authenticity of the NHRC report. "The report is not based on facts. So the habeas corpus petition of Dhungana be quashed," NA told the court.
Two of the drafters of the existing constitution Former Supreme Court Justice Laxman Aryal and former minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said the government and Maoist negotiators should agree to promulgate an interim statute to govern the transitional situation during their next dialogue."It should not be made an issue of debate during the talks," said Aryal, speaking at an interaction organized by the new faction of People's Front Nepal led by Chitra Bahadur KC.
Show cause notices issued
Supreme Court has issued show cause notices to government authorities on the detention of former Home Minister Kamal Thapa and former Local Development Minister Tanka Dhakal.
The apex court ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Kathmandu District Administration Office, the Police Paharagan and the Police Academy to furnish reasons for putting the duo in preventive detention within three days.Following today’s hearing, a single bench of justice Tahir Ali Ansari issued the notices to the authorities in response to separate habeas corpus petitions filed by advocate Namaraj Karki.
The bench also sought explanations from Thapa and Dhakal whether they have been allowed to meet their relatives, as the petitioner claimed that the authorities have not been providing facilities to the detained former ministers.
The former ministers have been in 90-day preventive detention since May 12. The state has accused them of posing a threat to people’s sovereignty and the rights achieved through the people’s movement.
Contempt of court case against army officials
The duo has been accused of misleading the court on the detention of three people. Filing the case, Ranju Darnal, a relative of the three persons Ranjit Darnal, Amrit Darnal and Rajendra chaurel claimed that the army officials misled the apex court while submittingexplanations on the trio’s detention.
“They misled the court by saying that the army did not detain them though they have been detained at the Rajdalgan barracks,” the petitioner claimed.
She said the army had arrested them three years ago on charges of being Maoist sympathisers.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel has said the Supreme Court will give preference to cases relating to persons detained in various jails, who have been waiting for court decisions.
“Chief Justice Poudel said the court will show interest in cases of persons who have been kept in detention for a long time while the court procedure is underway and that legal procedure will start as early as possible,” a statement issued by the NHRC said.
The NHRC team had also apprised the CJ about the facts obtained by the NHRC following its monitoring of jails around the country. The delegation comprised of commission members Sushila Singh Silu, Sudeep Pathak and Gokul Pokhrel.
Mainwhile Inmates of the Nakhu Jail on Tuesday took their Jailer under control, demanding a general amnesty.
They have demanded the release of all prisoners along with the prisoners of conscience asking Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula to carry out dialogue with the prisoners.
The inmates of the Nakhu Jail have threatened to keep Jailer Ram Prasad Bhattarai under their control until their demands are met.
There are about 300 inmates at Nakhu Jail along with the Maoist prisoners.
Although the government ordered the release of all Maoist prisoners recently, some of them are still in detention due to legal procedures.
Monday, June 05, 2006
The historic declaration came after a discussion on a proposal of urgent public importance tabled by CPN-UML lawmaker Parashuram Meghi Gurung. The declaration is expected to act as an important breakthrough in creating an equitable society by bringing together dalits and backward groups into the national mainstream.
The proposal, passed unanimously by the HoR, will ensure a fair representation of dalits, comprising almost 22 percent of the population, in the process of forming the constituent assembly and a new constitution.
The proposal was seconded by Hari Acharya of People's Front Nepal (PFN), Ram Hari Dhungel of Nepali Congress (NC), Tanka Prasad Rai of NC-D and Govinda Bikram Shah of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) while MPs Lila Mani Pokharel, Tara Meyangbo, Janak Raj Giri, Yadav Bahadur Rayamajhi and Bhakta Bahadur Balayar participated in the discussion supporting the proposal.
"The practice of untouchability will now onwards be considered as a social crime and the government will enact laws in such a way that the inhuman and discriminatory practice is more punishable," Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nembang told the House prior to tabling of the proposal for decision. He also assured the House that a new Bill will soon be introduced in this regard.
He also assured that the government would make special arrangements for dalits in education and employment sectors, besides the ongoing provision of scholarships for dalit students in schools and reservations in higher studies.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
No constitutional question anymore : AG
Attorney General Yagyamurti Banjade told the Supreme Court, that the government does not have to abide by the 1990 Constitution.
“Since the political regime has already changed, the 1990 Constitution may not be followed in the changed context,” Banjade said. “The House itself declared that it is the supreme body of the nation and the provisions of the existing Constitution and laws cannot apply if they contradicted with the declaration. So there is no question of going by the existing Constitution,” he said.
Banjade was arguing in the case testing the legality of the detention of former ministers Ramesh Nath Pandey, Shrish Sumsher Rana and Nikshya Sumsher Rana before a full bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Ram Nagina Singh, Anup Raj Sharma and Khil Raj Regmi. The Chief Justice put Justice Regmi on the bench after Justice Kedar Prasad Giri declined to be a member of the bench hearing the case. Banjade also claimed that King Gyanendra had transferred the state authority to the people and reinstated the House and as such there is no ground to test the government’s action.
He added that the former ministers were taken into preventive detention because they had started hatching conspiracies against the achievement of the Jana Andolan and they had suppressed the people’s movement by misusing power. Deputy AG Dorna Raj Regmi said there was no need to follow the SC’s precedents in the changed context.
Pleading on behalf of the former ministers, senior advocate Ganesh Raj Sharma argued that since the former ministers had advised the King to reinstate the House and to transfer power to the people, it was illogical to detain them. “The former ministers had contributed inestablishing Loktantra and as such it is wrong to detain them,” Sharma added.
He sought their release as it was illegal to detain them without any valid ground. “There is a need to tell the government in judicial language that there is nobody above the Constitution and the rule of law,” he added.
Advocates Bishnu Bhattarai and Balkrishna Neupane also termed the detention illegal and urged the court to release the former ministers.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
SC full court starts hearing on ex-ministers case
The full court of the Supreme Court started hearing on the habeas corpus writ petition filed by three ministers of the erstwhile royal regime on Thursday.
The full court comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel and justices Kedar Prasad Giri, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Ram Nagina Singh and Anup Raj Sharma heard the case filed by detained former ministers Ramesh Nath Pandey, Shrish Shumsher Rana and Nikshya Shumsher Rana.
Senior advocate Ganesh Raj Sharma and advocate Bal Krishna Neupane presented arguments from the petitioners’ side while defense attorneys are scheduled to debate in the next hearing.
The case was presented before the full court on Tuesday after a division bench of Justices Kedar Prasad Giri and Tapa Bahadur Magar failed to decide it, citing legal complexities.
The full court had deferred hearing on the case on Tuesday after the bench was divided as to whether Justice Giri could be part of it.
Former ministers Pandey and Rana-duo were arrested and sent to preventive detention on May 12 along with two other key ministers of the royal regime – Kamal Thapa and Tanka Dhakal. They had filed a habeas corpus writ on May 16, challenging the government’s decision to detain them.
The five former ministers have been handed three-month detention warrants under the Public Security Act