Saturday, March 31, 2007

SC judge concerned about courts’ failure to collect fines

Supreme Court Justice Anup Raj Sharma on friday expressed serious concern about the non-implementation of court verdicts. According to him, this has resulted in the court not being able to collect a huge amount in fines and slap sentences of thousands of years on convicts.

Sharma was speaking at a National Convention on Anti-Trafficking Bill jointly organised by the Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD) and the Daywalka Foundation Nepal. Data in the apex court show that the country’s judiciary has failed to collect more than Rs 30 billions in fines. They also show that the courts have not been able to slap more than 80,000 years of imprisonment on convicts.

Justice Sharma said that the Anti-Trafficking Bill has a provision whereby the victim has to be compensated from the fine imposed on the perpetrator. “How can the victims be compensated when the court itself is not being able to collect the fines?” he queried. He also said that the court cannot deliver justice to victims due to lack of sufficient evidences, which are to be produced by prosecutors and police while filing cases.

He called upon the government to appoint gender sensitive officials in departments concerned to provide justice to victims. He also demanded that the word Beshya (prostitute) be removed from Acts. According to him, this word tarnishes the image of women. President ofthe FWLD, Sapana Pradhan Malla, stressed on maintaining the privacy of victims not only in courtrooms but also in the police department when the latter investigates cases.
Court frees party cadres

Eleven activists of different political parties, who had been arrested on charges of ransacking and setting on fire government offices were released on the order of the Morang district court today.The 11 activists were arrested from their houses on March 15. They had been accused of involvement in vandalising and setting on fire six government offices in Rangeli on March 14. All of them had been lodged in the Biratnagar Jail.

A single bench of the Morang district court comprising Justice Bhim Ojha said that no evidence was found against them, DSP Rabindra Sharma at the Morang district police office said. While the court ordered the release of 10 of them on a bond of Rs 10,000 each, it released one person on a bail of Rs 5,000.On March 14, MJF cadres had set fire to VDC offices of Rangeli, Amardaha, Bardanga VDCs, the offices of the Area Administration, Gramin Bikas Bank and Agricultural Development Bank.
Aryal 'Shocked' at Deletion of Clause in Interim Statute

Supreme Court (SC) justice and chairman of the interim constitution drafting committee, Laxman Prasad Aryal, on Friday expressed "shock" at the "disappearance" of a clause on ending impunity in the final interim constitution."While drafting the interim constitution we had included a clause on ending impuntiy. We had thought that impunity would now come to an end. But the exclusion of the clause in the final draft came as a surprise," Aryal told a workshop jointly organised by the International Court of Jurist (ICJ) and the Capacity Development of National Human Rights Commission (CDNHRC).

The workshop was aimed at increasing awareness among human rights defenders on the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to lobby for its ratification by the Nepal government.Aryal suggested the government immediately ratify the Rome Statue and put an end to impunity.

Saying that disappearances have been a glaring example of human rights violation in the country, Aryal said, "The government has not been serious on ending impunity by bringing the human rights violators to book."UNDP Resident Representative to Nepal, Matthew Kahane, said every individual's fundamental human rights have to be respected. He also lauded the NHRC's efforts in trying to put an end to impunity.

Friday, March 30, 2007

SC summons Himal publisher, editor

The Supreme Court on thrusday ordered the publisher and executive editor of Himal magazine to appear before it within three days and explain why they published a report based on a telephonic conversation between a court official and a client. A single bench of Justice Gauri Dhakal issued the order to publisher Kanak Mani Dixit and executive editor Shiv Gaunle.
Advocate Arun Gyawali had filed a case against Himal magazine, accusing its publisher and executive editor of involvement in a contemptuous act by publishing the conversation recorded in a CD.
Advocate Gyawali, in his petition, claimed that the magazine had disrespected the Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and justices Anup Raj Sharma, Sharada Prasad Pundit and Pawan Kumar Ojha just because court official Baburam Dahal bargained with the client, making mention of the justices’ names. An initial report of the investigation committee comprising Justices Top Bahadur Magar, Damodar Prasad Sharma and Ram Kumar Prasad Shah into the CD scandal was also presented to the bench.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association today formed a committee headed by senior advocate Shree Hari Aryal to probe the CD scandal. Advocates Kamal Narayan Das, Prakash Osti, Bharat Raj Uprety and Shreekanta Baral are members of the committee.
Oli committee recommends action agaisnt RCCC officials
The high-level committee led by Deputy Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli has recommended immediate action against the officials of the now-defunct Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC).
According to a member of the committee, the government has been asked to immediately take action as per the recommendation of the commission formed under the chairmanship of former Chief Judge of the Appellate Court Madhav Prasad Ojha.
The Ojha panel, formed to probe the excesses of the RCCC against the democratic leaders, has recommended prosecution of RCCC offcial on charges of corruption and defemation.
The Oli committee has also recommended 'stern action' against chairman of the RCCC, Bhakta Bahadur Koirala, and secretary Shambhu Bahadur Khadka, barring them from holding any public post in future.
The taskforce also recommended the Council of Ministers to take proper action against the duo for misappropriation of funds when they were at the helms of the RCCC.
The dissolved RCCC detained former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and minister Prakash Man Singh and interrogated several other political leaders on graft charges

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Comment by Krishna Das Manandhar in his case

few weeks before we had published news SC justice refuses to hear bank default case in our web site .

Krishna Das Manandhar has send his comment in that news. We give space for his comment in respect that we give equal rights to all concerned parties to say about them .

Date : 28.3.07
To, The Editor,Kanunisanchar.comLegal News from Nepal

Sub. : Regret for the news "SC justice refuses to hear default case"

Dear Editor,
I came across your news published on 5th March,2007 with headline mentioned above and writing this regret message to you since this deteriorated news is highlighted on my case. As I am in study leave for pursuing Ph.D. degree and not in Nepal nowadays, I am bound to jot these few lines as clarification for you and the visitors of your esteemed site.
Obviously it is pity for me and the people who are aware of my petition against Nepal Rastra Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Credit Information Bureau (CIB) that the legal news published by legal professionals is in rampant. Being a responsible Nepalese citizen, it is indispensable to clarify the case in brief as below;
1. First of all, I had not put petition challenging the black listing of Imex Tarade Ltd. as loan defaulter as wrongly mentioned in the worldwide Kanunisanchar .com news. Instead, I had filed the petition against the concerning organizations including the Banijya Bank which forcefully on the verge of prejudice enlisted my name to black list without truly supportive documents.
2. Yes, I was one of the founder director of the company but this company never received any loan and there were no such minuting ever to receive loan. However, we had once put application to receive bank facilities in future which was rejected due to lack of collaterals needed for the same.
3. So far I could follow during initial days of the case, the bank authority in illicit handshake with the chairman of the company and the witness Mr. Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, a director of Panchakanya Group had illegally dealt using banner of the company for a L/C equivalent to principle amount IC 30,00000.00(In words, Three million only) without any consent of the board of directors of Imex Trade Ltd. The bank has forcefully attached a mismatching minuting which we had put (again it was a day later the bank dealt personally with company chairman) for pre-processing as mentioned in clause no. 2.
4. The bank deal was completely intentional in the interest of Bank Staffs, the witness Mr. Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, and personally the chairman, Mr. Gopal Man Singh to put the company in controversy. Company obviously does not mean the chairman alone but surprisingly bank dealt with the chairman personally.
5. Since the company has never dealt with bank for obtaining loan, this case is not compatible to the other hot cases like Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills and is completely different one. Here the persons involved were the bank staffs along with the witness and Mr. Gopal Man Singh who illegally used letter head of the company.
6. The company was established with position of 20 Directorships along with the chairman. The bank dealt personally with the chairman for issuing loan without consent of Board in witness of Nepalese billionaire Mr. Pradeep Shrestha. With clean cheat to them, it is very injustice to enlist my name alone in the black list.

On the basis of all above clarification, I hearty suggest your world-wide spread media to publish such news only after going through the documentation thoroughly and drawing the views from my side as well. I have attached my petition herewith for your perusal. I strongly condemn the publication of this news and request you to clarify it again from your dot com news.
Anticipating your quick response.
Thanking you.

Krishna Das ManandharLecturer,Padmakanya Multiple Campus
Currently,Research ScholarDept. of MedicineInstitute of Medical SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasi., UP.India
SC Notices on Discriminatory Marital Rape Law

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued show cause notices to government authorities to give in writing, within 15 days, the reasons for the inclusion of a discriminatory provision on marital rape in the Civil Code 1963.

According to section 3 of the Rape Chapter of the Civil Code 1963, a person can be imprisoned for three to six months if he is convicted of raping his wife. The Civil Code says that a person can be imprisoned for over seven years if he rapes a woman.

A single bench of Justice Bal Ram KC issued the notices to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Cabinet, the Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and the Parliament Secretariat, calling them to submit written affidavits on the matter in the Supreme Court.The bench issued the notices following on Wednesday's initial hearing on a PIL challenging the Section 3 of the Rape Chapter.

During on Wednesday's hearing, advocate Meera Dhungane said the provision is discriminatory.According to the Civil Code, a person faces over a seven-year jail term for raping a woman, Dhungana said, adding that the husband, who rapes his wife should not enjoy leniency in terms of punishment.Challenging the provision, a victim, Jit Kumari Pangeni, and a group of advocates, including Sapana Pradhan Malla, have filed the PIL.
SC directives implementation unsatisfactory

A three-year-old Supreme Court directive to the government to take legislative measures for implementing obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions is gathering dust in court cupboards ekantipur reports.
Interestingly, the directive order issued on January 9, 2004 has not even reached the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers or the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs - the implementing agencies in this case- though these offices are just a stone's throw from the apex court premises.
This instance is just the tip of the iceberg regarding how directive orders from the Supreme Court have been treated. The list of unimplemented directive orders like this one could be long. In fact, a study by the National Judicial Council (NJC) says that the record of implementation of such orders is very poor.
"The implementation of directive orders is not satisfactory. … The implementation and monitoring mechanism
are not effective. There is a lack of coordination between the court and the bodies responsible for the implementation of directive orders," the study concluded.
Directive orders are issued only in cases of public interest or importance. Such an order instructs or directs the government and bodies under it to do specific things regarding the case under consideration. The apex court issued altogether 67 such orders after 1990.
According to the study of directive orders issued by the Supreme Court after the 1990 Constitution came into force, only 13 directive orders have been implemented fully while six others have been partially put into practice.
Similarly, the study, a first of its kind, says that 22 directive orders are in the process of implementation while 11 more are awaiting implementation. The report states that the status of 15 directive orders could not be confirmed.
"The authorities concerned are not sensitive over the implementation of directive orders," the study reported, "Less interest or importance has been given in this regard [implementation]."
Meanwhile, Public Interest Litigation lawyers suggest that the existing mechanism for monitoring the implementation of directive orders should be reformed.
"The existing follow-up mechanism at the Supreme Court is not effective, so it needs to be improved," said advocate Raju Prasad Chapagain, who is waiting for the implementation of a directive order issued in response to his petition.
Other lawyers said that they themselves are monitoring the implementation of directive orders issued in their respective cases. "In many cases, I myself write to the bodies concerned for implementation of the directive orders," said advocate Mira Dhungana.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Special Court verdict on Khadka's case challenged

the CIAA today filed a case at the Supreme Court challenging the Special Court’s decision to acquit former minister Khum Bahadur Khadka of corruption charges.

The CIAA in its appeal expressed dissatisfaction over Special Court’s decision to clear Khadka of corruption charges and demanded that the apex court review that verdict.

After a prolonged trial, the Special Court had in November last year acquitted Khadka of embezzlement of Rs 23.6 million.

CIAA summons ex-CoAS Thapa over graft charge

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has summoned former Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) Pyar Jung Thapa for interrogation on charges of corruption during the royal regime.

Officials said the CIAA sent a letter to Thapa today asking him to appear before a panel to record his statement in connection with the accusation against him of misappropriation of over Rs 20 million during King Gyanendra’s active rule.

Based on the Rayamajhi Commission’s report, the anti-graft body is investigating into corruption cases that took place during the royal regime. Thapa is one of the several top-ranking government officials in the royal regime who have been implicated by the Rayamajhi Commission in financial irregularities.

The CIAA has already interrogated former royalist ministers Kamal Thapa, Tanka Dhakal, Shrish Shumsher Rana and Dan Bahadur Shahi over the graft charges.

The CIAA began the probe after the government authorised it for investigation into corruption cases pointed out by the Rayamajhi Commission report.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Extreme human rights violation by MPRF in Rautahat killings:NBA
Nepal Bar Association (NBA) has alleged that the Rautahat killings were a result of the weaknesses of the Maoists, the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) and the local administration.
Issuing a Site Investigation Proposal in the capital today, the bar claimed that the death of the 28 people in the Gaur mishap was due to the combined follies of the MPRF, Maoists and the local administration.
The proposal blamed the local administration for not taking any steps, considering the seriousness of the situation.
The proposal states that the police remained “mute audience” while the Maoist cadres were being beaten up.
The local administration did not remain alert although there had been incidents of disputes in other parts of the country when MPRF and Maoist programmes had coincided earlier, the proposal read.
Furthermore, the bar has also mentioned that the Maoist leadership continued with their programme despite many requests to think again about rescheduling their programme.
The proposal includes incidents of extreme violation of human rights by the MPRF cadres.
It also states that the the forum cadres killed seven people on the spot after the clash and chased the others and took them under control and beat them up mercilessly before killing them.
11 of the dead bodies were found tied together in Hazmania, five kilometers away from Gaur.
The bar has claimed that the MPRF supporters had killed the Maoist cadres with bamboo sticks, stones and bullets and had even tried to burn some of them.
Furthermore, the bar, quoting the injured, has stated that the MPRF cadres had misbehaved with the women and even tried to burn their bodies.
NBA, an umbrella organisation of lawyers, has condemned the Rautahat killings calling it “inhumane” and “illegal”. The bar has demanded that strict actions be taken against the culprits.
Furthermore, the bar has also suggested the government to heighten security in the country.
The proposal was prepared by a six-member team headed by treasurer of the bar Savita Bhandari Baral.
Earlier, the team had carried out investigations and gathered information from local lawyers, residents, CDO, Police Chief and the injured.

Monday, March 26, 2007

SAC finalises two election-related bills
The State Affairs Committee (SAC) of the Legislative Parliament finalised two legislations related to the constituent assembly elections Monday.
The meeting of the SAC held in the morning finalised the Bill on Functions, Responsibilities and Authorities of the Election Commission and Bill on Election Crime and Punishment.
Both the bills will be tabled in the House today for approval.
Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel were present during the discussion.
The Election Commission has warned that the election to constituent assembly would not be held on time if the necessary laws were not passed on time. However, the parties have repeatedly expressed commitments to hold the CA elections on time.
Court seeks clarification on Chamati land pooling

The Supreme Court issued an order Sunday to the Chamati Land Pooling Project to furnish answers regarding the project. The court issued order after a hearing on sunday on the petition filed by the project at the Supreme Court on rethinking the interim order the court had issued about three months ago against it.
In the order, the Supreme Court has sought answers from in clear terms and words regarding the failure for completing the project even five years after start of the project, the progress report of the project, problems faced for completing the project and measures taken to resolve them.
Some specific questions sought by the court to Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, chief executive officer of Kathmandu metropolitan and the chief of the project, to be answered include: policy regarding providing additional land to people having less than 2-anna (700 sq. feet) land with additional payment otherwise they would not get land within the project area; number of people who have been provided land for building houses as compensation for the land pooled.
The court has also asked about clarification and legal basis of the monetary donation from the people within the project area and the details of income and expenditure so far and the additional money to be required to complete the project.
It has also demanded clarification about the legal basis of freezing the people's property for an indefinite period. Until replies to the questions are furnished clearly, the interim order will remain and the court will hear the case again as soon as the answers are received, the court said today.
The local people had filed a petition at the Supreme Court three months ago for the abolition of the project and the court had issued an interim order and show cause notice to the project. The project instead filed another petition at the Supreme Court to rethink about the interim order.
The local people said they want the project to be annulled, as it would cause the displacement of people with low land holding of 2 anna and two to four annas. Already 850 land owners with two annas have been displaced. There are 898 holding two annas or less land and 820 people with two to four annas. They said all of them would be displaced if the project goes ahead.
The project was started four years ago to develop land from Balaju to Swoyambhu area mainly along the Bishnumati River. The project had already pooled 1369 ropanis (one ropani equal 5625 sq. feet) land and the local people say it has been of no use.

OHCHR seeks full investigation on Maina Sunuwar case

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal has said that the police complete a thorough investigation, with full cooperation from the Nepal Army (NA) into the custodial death of 15-year old girl Maina Sunuwar of Kavre.

Issuing a press release Sunday, the OHCHR said that the remains thought to be those of Maina Sunuwar, who was allegedly tortured and died in the custody of the army in February 2004, was exhumed from the premises of the NA’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Panchkhal, Kavre district, on Friday.

Earlier, in a press statement the Directorate of Public Relations of NA had said that information that remains were found on the Training Centre's premises was baseless and misleading.

“The exhumation marks a crucial step in the criminal investigation launched by police into the girl’s death, which has been stalled for many months due to the NA challenging the jurisdiction of civilian authorities over the case as well as the reluctance of authorities to proceed with an investigation,” the OHCHR added.

“The exhumation Friday of remains thought to be those of Maina Sunuwar marks a crucial step forward in the quest for justice for her alleged torture and death. A full criminal investigation by police must now proceed to determine who was responsible and to hold them fully accountable,” the statement quoted Sandra Beidas, Officer In Charge of the OHCHR-Nepal, as saying.

As part of a court martial, the NA in September 2005 found three military personnel guilty of failing to dispose of the Maina's dead body properly.

The OHCHR further said that the NA had failed to provide court of inquiry and court martial documentation to the OHCHR despite repeated requests.

During her visit to Nepal in January, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, received assurances from the Chief of the NA and the Home Minister that an investigation would be carried out without delay.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cabinet forms panel to probe Gaur bloodshed
The government has formed a high level committee to probe Wednesday's bloodshed in Gaur.
Friday's emergency meeting of the council of ministers has formed the high-level committee headed by judge of Patan Appellate Court Hari Prasad Ghimire.
Other members of the committee include Ram Sarobar Dube of National Vigilance Centre, joint attorney general Tik Bahadur Hamal and Deputy Inspector General Niraj Pun.
The committee has been asked to submit report within 15 days.
SC forms committee to study model of court in federal structure
The Supreme Court (SC) has formed a five member committee headed by Justice Anup Raj Sharma to study the model of Court in the federal structure.
According to sources, the SC formed a committee comprising representatives of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and experts to recommend the SC on the model of court in federal structure.
Other members of the committee are Justice of SC Kalyan Shrestha, Chair of NBA Bishow Kant Mainali, secretary at the Ministry of Law Dr. Kul Ratna Bhurtel, advocate Purna Man Shakya and registrar of the SC Dr. Ram Krishna Timilsena.
The committee was asked to submit report on the model of court in federal structure, structure of Justices and offiials at the Court.
However, the Kantipur daily quoted chair of the NBA Mainali as saying that he had heard about the committee but he is yet to get formal letter in this regard.
The SC formed such committee after the state has decided to go for the federal set up by amending interim constitution.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

If anyone proves my involvement , I will resign : CJ

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel assured Supreme Court officials that he would initiate action against any judge if he was found involved in taking bribes.He said that if proved of his own involvement in any irregularity he is ready to resign. "If anyone proves my involvement in any charge I will resign as I have no hunger for the post," Chief Justice Paudel told them.

Spokesperson of the SC, Durga Prasad Dawadi told that the Chief Justice was clear about taking actions against anyone if found guilty in any corruption case.
SC staffers halt works for two hours

Supreme Court staffers halted all administrative works for two hours on Wednesday to protest the statement of Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel in the media that bribery in the judicial sector existed at the administrative level only.

The administrative works were stopped for two hours to protest the CJ’s ‘irresponsible’ comment over a recent bribery scandal, SC officials told reporters.

After the protest, CJ Poudel invited the officials and held discussion with the administrative officials in his chamber and assured that he would see to the controversies.

Media reports about bribery in the court have dragged CJ Poudel and some judges, along with administrative officials, into controversy.

The Full Court meeting of the SC on Tuesday formed a three-member committee headed by Justice Tap Bahadur Magar to probe the scandals triggered by the news about a CD containing telephone conversation between a plaintiff and a court official who ‘demands’ kickback to influence the judge for favoured verdict on a property case

Monday, March 19, 2007

Most court cases related to land: Report
As in the previous years, the largest number of cases in the District Courts are related to land, according to the Annual Report of the Supreme Court for 2006/07.The Supreme Court reports states that out of the total 57,442 cases filed at the District Courts, 16,208 cases were related to land, 13,761 to family, 8,663 to transactions, 5,514 relating to misrepresentation, 2,417 related to murder, 1,486 related to burglary, 1428 related to beating, 1,257 related to looting and 1,096 related to defamation.Similarly, 766 cases were related to forgery, 717 to coercion, 506 to contract, 462 to narcotic drugs, 462 to rape, 266 to fraud, 247 related to foreign employment, 176 related to human trafficking, 74 to contempt of court, 63 to forest, 59 related to foreign exchange, 17 to killing of cows, 14 to gambling, 13 to revenue, four to election, three to corruption and 1,766 miscellaneous cases.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Challenges to establishing the rule of law in post conflict Nepal

Talk program was organized in Georgetown University, Washington DC, on “Challenges to establishing the rule of law in post conflict Nepal.” It was jointly organized by International Law Society and the United Nation at Georgetown.

Advocate Dinesh Tripathi was invited as a guest speaker. Advocate Tripathi said on the occasion- "Nepal is at a crossroad now. Important gains and changes have been made toward democratization but the situation in Nepal is full of risk and uncertainty. Monarchists and anti- democratic elements want to derail and reverse the democratization process. There are growing complexities in Nepal. The conflict is still not over. The conflict has taken new shape and dimension. The transition is going to be most difficult and tough. Nepal requires a successful transition toward full fledge democracy and rule of law. But the entire democratization and peace process is extremely weak and fragile in Nepal. This is a time for great promise as well as a great uncertainty in Nepal. If transition is not successfully and efficiently managed then it might take ugly turn. "

"The constituent assembly will adopt a new constition which will guarantee sovereign rights of the people and also decide the fate of monarchy in Nepal. The election of the constituent assembly must be held in due date. The Nepal needs a radical departure from the past. It needs a total restructing of polity, state and governance. We the people of Nepal must allow to decide our own fate and also allow to write and adopt our own constitution. The new constitution must fully empower the people, establish a republican form of government and guarantee the fundamental rights of the people. The people of Nepal are aspiring for full fledge democracy and want to do away with monarchy. Now it is establish fact of history of Nepal is that in Nepal democracy and monarchy can not go together. The monarchy of Nepal is always a threat for democratic political order and it dismantled and subverted the democratic process and institution through a military power now and again. So Nepali people want to do away with monarchy and want to establish republican form of government. The experiment of democracy with monarchy has been failed in Nepal. The New constitution should chart a new course for Nepal", he told.

Same as he added that "The right to vote in periodical election is extremely important component of democratic governance but it is not enough, new constitution should also guarantee the socio-economic rights of the people. It must empower the weakest, vulnerable and marginalized class of people. It must guarantee the federal structure in order to empower the masses at grass root level. In order to ensure greater regional and local autonomy and establish the local ownership on the resources federal structure is essential. International civil society must creatively engage in the Nepal’s democracy building process. The international civil society can play a very important role to strengthen a Nepal’s fragile and weak democracy building process."

Ms. Rene diplock president of the united nation at Georgetown introduce the guest speaker.

SC panel grills security officials on disappearances

A probe panel headed by appellate court judge Lokendra Mallik today interrogated Colonel of the Nepali Army Pawan Pandey and AIGP Amar Singh Shah in connection with the disappearance of two detainees from the no. 1 Bahani of the army barracks in Balaju. The SC had constituted the panel.“We questioned them about the disappearance of detainees Bipin Bhandari and Dil Bahadur Rai from the Bahini. The two were taken into custody in the Bahini and disappeared from there,” said an official of the panel. Government Joint Attorney Saroj Gautam and advocate Govinda Bandi are the other members of the probe panel.According to the official, chairman and members of the panel inspected the Bahani after the interrogation and collected documents related to detention of a number of people in the past. “We found clues about illegal detention of several persons in the past,” he added.“During the interrogation, they (Pandey and Shah) claimed that security agencies had no policy to make people disappear,” the official said.They told the panel that all the security agencies had worked together under the command of the then Royal Nepalese Army in the past. “There is no question of disappearing anyone to fulfil the interest of any particular security agency,” they said.

SC to Probe Bribery Scandal Involving Its Officer

Supreme Court on Friday set up an investigation committee to probe into a bribery scandal reportedly involving one of its section officers.The scandal came into surface after Himal Khabarpatrika in Chaitra 1-15, 2063, issue published the transcribed version of the content of a compact disc it received.The CD contains a record of taped telephone conversation between Supreme Court section officer Baburam Dahal and client Raju Shakya.In the CD, the report says, Dahal is heard asking bribe from Shakya claiming that he would woo the Supreme Court judges including the CJ to deliver a verdict on a land dispute in his favour.Shakya lost the case even though he paid a sum of Rs 250,000 to Dahal seeking a verdict in his favour. Dahal had demanded Rs 300,000 as bribe."The CJ has decided to form an investigation committee," SC Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena told journalists at a press conference organised on Friday. Acting Secretary of Judicial Service Commission, Prakash Kumar Dhungana, Joint Registrar Shree Kanta Paudel and under secretary Daya Ram Dhakal are the members of the panel, which has 15 days to submit a report on the issue.Timalsena, however, said the probe panel has no jurisdiction to inquire or question the judges whom Dahal, in the CD, has named and said he would talk to regarding the dispute.Meanwhile, issuing a press statement on Friday, SC spokesperson Durga Prasad Dawadi has called the media not to publish the matter again because it apparently proved that Shakya has tried to mislead the court and later exposed the CD after the verdict was issued against him. "This proves that there is no relation whatsoever between the CJ, SC Judges and the scam," he said.The court also said it would take action against anyone found guilty in the scam.

Friday, March 16, 2007

SC to set up commercial benches: Report

The Supreme Court (SC) is mulling to set up commercial benches to look after business related issues.
The Himalayan Times daily quoted joint registrar of the SC Binod Sharma as saying, "We have been making preparations to set up such benches to look after business related issues after rise in business related cases."
According to him, the issue will be discussed during the hearing in a full-court meeting of justices soon, adding, "The benches will be set up following the approval of the full-court meeting."
However, it is still unclear whether such courts will be equivalent to district courts or appellate courts. While some Acts consider commercial benches equal to district courts, other Acts hold that they are equal to an appellate court.
The benches will look into cases related to company disputes, secured transitions, contracts and banking, negotiable instruments, arbitration, intellectual property rights, finance, foreign investment, insurance, securities, partnership, construction and transportation.
A working group comprising Chief Judge of Jumla Tarka Raj Bhatta and district judges Ananta Raj Dumre, Tek Narayan Kunwar, Narishwor Bhandari and Murari Babu Shrestha has been formed to study the matter and submit recommendation.
"We have recommended that a short procedure should be adopted to decide commercial disputes as such cases need to be decided soon," said judge Kunwar.
Former justice Singh rejects chairmanship of ECDC

Former Supreme Court justice Ram Nagina Singh has turned down his nomination by the government as the chairman of the Electoral Constituency Delineation Commission (ECDC) formed by Thursday's cabinet meeting ekantipur reports.

Singh said that he was not interested in the government decision as "election was not his area."

"The government has taken the decision without informing me. So I refuse the government offer," said Singh.

Asked whether he would have accepted the government offer had he been informed in advance, Singh said, "Election is not an area of my expertise. So I would have rejected the offer even if I had been informed in advance."

Earlier, a cabinet source had informed that today's cabinet meeting had decided to form the ECDC under the chairmanship of former justice Singh while Nobel Kishor Rai and Shwayambhu Man Amatya were nominated the other members of the commission.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

SAC decides to remove seven provisions from Party-related Bill
The Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) has decided to remove seven provisions from the political party related bill.
Wednesday’s meeting of the SAC has decided to remove the provision proscribing political parties to seek donations from individuals, organisations, international agencies and government.
Similarly, the meeting also decided to bar political parties from calling bandhs, organizing protest programmes and rallies in prohibited places and the provision of the local government officer deciding the places for the parties to organise programmes.
Also removed were the provision that had prohibited the parties from creating obstructions in the means of transport and vandalising public and people's properties while launching any protests, using minor in rallies and protest programmes, and the provision that required the party to receive at least one percent of total vote in general elections to become eligible for receiving grant provided by the government.
The SAC also removed the provision that required the party to make its annual report public within six months of the completion of every fiscal year.
The SAC however decided to retain the provision that seeks the parties to produce 10,000 signatures of its voters while registering the party.
Some clauses in the bill could not be finalised on Wednesday because of the division among Nepali Congress lawmakers and other parties' lawmakers.
Court decision on disappeared case on Apr 11

The Supreme Court will give its decision on the 237 writ petitions filed at the Supreme Court calling for making public the whereabouts of the people, said to have been disappeared by the Army and the Police on April 11.
A joint bench of Justice Khilraj Regmi and Kalyan Shrestha Wednesday issued the order to give the decision in that connection.The Supreme Court issued the order to this effect in response to the writ petitions filed on different dates at the Supreme Court by human rights organisations and individuals calling for making public the status of people said to have been disappeared by the Amy and Police at various times throughout the country.
Likewise, in response to the writ petition relating to Chetnath Ghimire, the Supreme Court has ordered that he be presented before the Court on March 20 since information that he has been found has been received from the Home Ministry.
Cancellation of Chamati land pooling sought
Two hundred and fifty-five individuals have jointly filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court today, seeking to release the land seised for the Chamati Land Pooling Project.The writ petition lodged by the local people states that the land usurped for the purpose of the land pooling for the Project be released as it has been notified that the Project would not come into operation at present.Chamati Land Pooling Project and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City have been named as the defendants in the writ petition.Earlier, hearings had continued on an affidavit demanding for annulment of the interim order issued in the name of the defendants by the Supreme Court, calling for stopping the works and activities of the Project for the time being.
The Project and Kathmandu Metropolitan City had filed the writ petition demanding annulment of the interim order.
A joint bench comprising Justices Balram K.C. and Pawan Kumar Ojha is carrying out hearings in this connection. The next hearing on the case is scheduled to take place on March 16.
NBA, ICJ flay Pakistani CJ’s detention
The Nepal Bar Association (NBA) on wednesday condemned the Pakistani government for suspending and detaining Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry.The NBA said it was an unconstitutional act of President Pervez Musharraf to suspend and detain the Chief Justice.Issuing a press release, NBA general secretary Raman Kumar Shrestha flayed the Pakistani government’s suppression of lawyers while opposing the action against the Chief Justice in the streets.The lawyers’ body urged the Pakistani government to restore him to his post and respect his rights.On March 9, President Musharraf declared Choudhary unqualified and suspended him. He has been under home arrest since then.Meanwhile, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) also expressed its serious concern about the unconstitutional suspension of the Chief Justice.Issuing a press release, the ICJ called on the government to act urgently to demonstrate its commitment to the independence of the judiciary by releasing the Chief Justice from house arrest.“The suspension of the Chief Justice by the President is unprecedented and unconstitutional.It has undermined the separation of powers and threatens the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Pakistan,” Nicholas Howen, the ICJ secretary-general stated in the release.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NOC defy court, hold elections

The Nepal Olympic Committee defied the Patan Appellate Court orders and held its elections on tuesday.
The court on Monday had ordered to postpone the scheduled elections until the next hearing on march 16 while hearing the writ petition filed by Kishor Bahadur Karki, president of the Nepal Shooting Association (NSA). But the international supervisors — Michel Filliau of International Olympic Committee and Haider Farman of Olympic Council of Asia — scrapped the disputed NSA from the voters list and held the elections.
Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan was unanimously elected the president for the next four-year term along with deputy general secretary Deep Raj Gurung and treasurer Upendra Keshari Neupane. The elections were held for four vice presidents, general secretary and seven members.
The newly-elected president said that he was unable to postpone the elections despite the orders from the court. “We did not disobey the court orders, but we held our elections as per our schedule and putting aside the disputed association,” he said. He also said that he was happy to hold the elections in democratic way unlike previous years when the NOC elections used to be held in a closed doors.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rayamajhi report case hearing put off again

The Supreme Court on Sunday postponed a final hearing on the public interest litigation seeking the apex court order to implement and make public the Rayamajhi Commission report.

Though the case was scheduled for hearing today by a division bench of Justices Sharada Prasad Pundit and Damodar Prasad Sharma, they could not hear the case due to lack of time, as the case was listed on number 14. The judges heard other cases placed on top and postponed hearing on the Rayamajhi report case to April 20. Earlier, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel had postponed the final hearing on the case scheduled for March 4.

Though the Cabinet had decided on March 5 to make public the Rayamajhi Commission report and take action against those indicted by it, the government has neither made the report public nor submitted it to the parliament.

“It does not mater what decision the government has taken. People should get copies of it,” advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali, who is also the writ petitioner, said.

“It is wrong to put off hearing on such a case again and again, as it should get priority as per Rule 5 (a) of the Supreme Court Regulation,1992,” a member of the Legislature-Parliament and legal expert Harihar Dahal said.

Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said: “It is surprising why the Supreme Court is delaying hearing on the Rayamajhi report case which is a matter of public concern.”

Sunday, March 11, 2007

CJ stresses clear law on deadline

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel has expressed the view that the Act on Deadline should be clear-cut, explicit and practical.Inaugurating a discussion on formulation of laws related to time limit organised by the Nepal Law Reforms Commission here today, Chief Justice (CJ) Poudel stressed that the Act related to the deadline should be made scientific in consistent with the changing society.In general, the deadline fixed by law for lodging cases at the court is called the time limit.Attorney General Yagya Murti Banjade expressed the view that an individual's right to get justice should not be constricted due to the legal deadline and the provisions on the deadline should be made so that it would not hinder access to justice.Chairman of the Commission, Baburaja Joshi said that a new Bill is being brought with the objective of streamlining the provisions of the deadline scattered in various Acts in simple-to-understand language so that people would not be deprived of getting justice due to cumbersome provisions on deadline.Secretary of the Commission, Mohan Banjade said that the Commission has prepared the draft of the Act Related to Deadline to making the Acts pertaining to deadlines timely. At present, provisions on the deadline have been made in the Civil Code and other laws.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Govt to withdraw warrants and cases against JTMM leaders
Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula has said that the government has started process to withdraw warrants and cases against the leaders of both factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) who want to come for talks with the government.
"As per the request of the Mahantha Thakur-led committee, which is holding talks with agitating parties, the Home Administration has initiated the process of withdrawing cases and canceling warrants against those who come for talks," said Sitaula.
Likewise, Sitaula assured full security to the talks team members of the JTMM. The JTMM, particularly the Jwala Singh-led faction has been demanding withdrawal of cases and cancellation of warrants to create conducive atmosphere for talks.
Conflict victims yet to be resettled: NHRC
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has stated that people displaced during the conflict are still to be resettled.
Addressing an interaction organized by the Commission in the capital in Friday, NHRC Secretary Dhruva Nepal said that the displaced had not been able to return to their homes despite the Maoists' repeated announcement of returning seized homes and properties.
“The government also has not been able to come up with a program for the resettlement of the displaced,” he added.
Acting Director of NHRC Yagya Prasad Adhikari accused the government for interfering in the peaceful demonstration organised by the displaced people.
Participating in the interaction, the displaced people demanded that the Maoists should return all seized properties, stop arms display, and that both the government and the Maoists should call on the displaced to return to their villages.
The Maoist leadership has been time and again saying that they are ready to allow the displaced people to return to their villages but the local cadres have been obstructing them from returning and have yet to start the handing over pf seized properties.
Interim constitution amended by the parliament
Less than two months after it was promulgated unanimously, the interim constitution has been subjected to first amendment.
The legislative parliament approved the proposal to pass the First Amendment Bill by overwhelming majority. When the Speaker put forth the proposal – prepared after extensive consultations among eight parties and incorporating the February 7 address by the Prime Minister to placate the agitated Madhesis and Janajatis – for approval, it received 278 votes in favour and only 5 in opposition.
The parliament also rejected separate amendment proposals put forth by Rastriya Prajatantra Party's president Pashupati SJB Rana; People's Front's Pari Thapa; another faction of People's Front's Hari Acharya; and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party's Sunil Prajapati.
Answering to the queries raised by the MPs on the amendment proposal, Home Minister Krishna Sitaula assured that the government will soon present another comprehensive amendment proposal by incorporating their suggestions; as well as demands raised by agitating parties with whom the government is holding talks.
The First Amendment of the interim constitution clearly sets that the country will move towards the federal democratic structure through the Constituent Assembly; CA polls will be held on mixed-proportional system; constituencies will be reconstituted based on increased population in Terai; and all marginalised communities like Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits and women will be included at all levels of the state proportionally.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Human trafficking serious global challenge: Sundh
Representative of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) Lena Sundh on Wednesday said that addressing the connection between trafficking, migration, human rights and social exclusion is a critical issue.
Speaking at the first national gathering of Shakti Samuha, an organisation of survivors of human trafficking, Sundh added, "It is not a coincidence that those who are the victims of the worst forms of trafficking and other human rights violations also belong to the most socially excluded and discriminated groups. While this may be quite obvious, exactly how this process works is complicated. And certainly, strategies to tackle these problems can be neither simplistic nor straightforward."
Shakti Samuha organised its first national gathering on Wednesday in Kathmandu to mark the 97th International Women's Day.
The Kathmandu-based NGO, established in 1996, became the first organisation in the world created by trafficking survivors. Shakti Samuha focuses on preventing trafficking of members of vulnerable groups, particularly adolescent girls, providing services for trafficking survivors, and ensuring that their human rights are respected.
Stating that human trafficking is one of the serious global challenges, Sundh said trafficking represents the denial of the rights that enable us to enjoy life with dignity, including the right to mobility, freedom from violence and abuse, security, health, education, family life and a decent livelihood.
More than 120 women from across Nepal attended the conference, including some who had to travel for two or three days, on foot and by hitching rides, because of transportation strikes.
Stressing on two fundamental principles Sundh said, "First, human rights must be at the core of any credible anti-trafficking strategy and second, all stakeholders must work from the perspective of victims of trafficking and those who are vulnerable to it."
SC Show Cause Notices on Varsity Vacancies

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued show cause notices to the government authorities, seeking their explanation within 15 days on the non-appointment of vice-chancellors, registrars and other officials at the Tribhuvan, Nepal Sanskrit, Purvanchal and the Pokhara universities.Following on Wednesday's hearing, a single bench of Justice Sharada Prasad Pundit issued the notices against PM Girija Prasad Koirala, the PMO, Minister of Education and Sports, Interim Legislature, the Universities and the Nepal University Teachers' Association, seeking their written affidavits on the matter.The bench was responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Bhoj Raj Acharya.The petitioner demanded a mandamus order of the court. The petitioner blamed the government for being insensitive to appoint officials and said the government inaction has been affecting the education system seriously.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thapa presents before CIAA

Home minister of the erstwhile royal government Kamal Thapa has admitted to spending almost Rs ten million in intelligence deployment during his tenure.

Talking to the media persons after a four-hour long interrogation at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Thapa stated that the amount had been spent in deployment of intelligence agents and collection of news regarding security situation during the king-led government.

Thapa further claimed that he had made the expenditures in his capacity as the home minister just like his predecessors before him had for decades.

The Rayamajhi Commission, formed to investigate into the bloody crackdown on the April uprising, had recommended action against Thapa for misusing over twenty million rupees during his tenure.

This is the second summons for Thapa by the constitutional anti-graft body.

Previously, Thapa had been interrogated for over two-and-a-half hours about his alleged involvement in misappropriation of upto Rs 500,000 a day during the 19-day Janaandolan II in April last year.
SC final hearing on Shrish Rana’s case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday scheduled a final hearing on the writ petitions filed by former state minister for information and communications Shrish SJB Rana and former AIG of Police Rajendra Bahadur Singh for the third week of this month.Rana had moved the SC challenging the decision of the Ministry of Information and Communications to make him pay back Rs 4.1 million he had distributed among journalists to garner support for the royal regime. Singh had filed the petition challenging the government’s decision to dismiss him from office.
House fails to pass bill to amend statute

The Legislature-Parliament today could not pass the first amendment bill of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 and adjourned the House discussion on the matter until March 9.Though the House was scheduled to pass the bill on tuesday, it could not do so as the discussion on the matter could not be completed. Speaker Subas Nembang said the House session on March 9 will pass the bill.Home Minister KP Sitaula on behalf of Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nembang had tabled the proposal in today’s session.“The environment to pass the bill on March 9 has already been created,” Nembang said, adding he held a meeting with the leadership of the eight parties and discussed the matter with them. Nembang also dismissed reporters’ speculation that the House session was adjourned today as the House could not meet the required quorum to pass the constitution amendment bill. “The House was adjourned as the discussion was not completed,” he said.
mainwhileThe CPN (UML) “withdrew” its amendment proposal registered on Sunday to adopt a provision to impeach the king by two-third majority of the House. UML’s chief whip Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, however, said that the proposal they had registered in the House was not withdrawn and it will be forwarded at an “appropriate time.”

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Interim statute amendment bill to be passed today
Interim Legislature-Parliament is passing a bill regarding interim constitution amendment today.
The decision was made through an informal discussion among the government, members of the four major parties held at Speaker Subash Nemwang’s secretariat Tuesday morning.
The meeting has decided that the legislature will pass the bill for Interim constitution amendment presented by the government last month as it is, for now but has asked the government to initiate a comprehensive discussion for the second package.
The government had registered a bill in the Parliament Secretariat last month, proposing to amend the Interim Constitution.
The amendment bill aims to determine a federal system as the future model of governance, ensure proportional share of madhesi, dalits, ethnic groups, women, laborers, peasants, disabled and people from backward classes and regions in all the state organs and revise the current electoral constituencies.
The bill has proposed Constituency Delimitation Commission to revise existing electoral constituencies. The Commission is to be headed by a retired Supreme Court justice which will recommend the number of constituencies to be added in terai region based on its proportion of population. In hill and mountain districts the increment will be based on the population growth.
The Commission will take into account the transportation facility, community and culture of the local populace besides population, geographical feasibility and specialty, density of population and border of the administrative districts while revising the constituencies.
With the new provisions enforced, the number of the constituent assembly members, which were fixed at 425, will soar significantly.
The bill also proposes amending Article 138 of the interim statute to ensure that future model of the state would be federal. Ultimate decision related to restructuring of the state and the federal system will be carried out as determined by the constituent assembly.
The Council of Ministers will nominate 17 members to the assembly from among the people recognized for making significant contribution to the country. The number was 16 in the Interim Constitution promulgated last month.
The bill will be passed after a clause-wise discussion in today’s parliamentary session
No immediate action against King: Report
Though the government is facing pressure from various fronts to take action against the King as per the Rayamajhi Commission’s report, the cabinet meeting has decided not to take action against the king immediately.
According to Kantipur daily, Monday’s meeting of the council of ministers has agreed to take action against political parties through political consensus and asked the ministries, departments and authorities concerned to take action against guilty persons, who are in government service.
In the case of the King, in view of the clear commitments expressed by the political parties to decide his fate at the first meeting of the constituent assembly, the meeting decided to ‘do accordingly’, the paper adds.
The high level commission led by former Justice of the Supreme Court to probe the atrocities committed to suppress the April movement of the country has recommended action against 202 people including then chair of the government King Gyanendra.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority has started action against some people as per the recommendation of the task force headed by Deputy Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to study the Rayamajhi Commission’s report.

Monday, March 05, 2007

1.2 million citizenships distributed
The Home Ministry has distributed citizenship to over 1.2 million people in the past one and a half month of campaign, informs the Ministry.
The Ministry had formed 560 different teams that reached into villages to provide citizenship to deserving people.
According to the Ministry, 12,37,000 people have been handed over the citizenship. Of the total, 11,63,700 people obtained the citizenship based on inheritance; 51,285 obtained the citizenship based on birth; and the remaining obtained naturalised citizenship.
The distribution campaign is continuing. Baman Prasad Neupane, joint secretary at the Ministry, said that the government could extend the duration of the campaign beyond mid-March based on demands.
The government had dispatched the special teams to distribute citizenship based on new Citizenship Act primarily in order to benefit the Madhesi population – a large section of whom were said to have been deprived of citizenship in the past.
mainwhile The government on Sunday said that the citizenship certificates acquired through illegal means would be cancelled.
Issuing a press statement, the Home Ministry also said that persons involved in such practices would be punished as per the laws of the land. The release has asked ordinary people and civil society members to report such illegal practices to local administration and help check the illegal practice of providing citizenship certificates to foreign nationals.
The government move comes after reports that mobile citizenship distribution teams were forced to provide citizenship cards on the basis of fake details and under pressure. According to a release, the government has initiated action those against those involved in such illegal practices in Sundrawati of Dolakha district, Basudevpur of Banke district, Bariyapatti village of Siraha district and Manaraja village of Saptari district.
SC justice refuses to hear bank default case

A Supreme Court Justice sunday refused to hear a case challenging the black listing of Immix Trade Ltd as a loan defaulter, saying he was embroiled in a controversy when he issued a verdict in a case related with Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills.
Justice Top Bahadur Magar refused to hear the petition filed by Krishna Das Manandhar challenging black listing of his firm by the Credit Information Bureau (CIB).
“When we entered the division bench comprising Justices Magar and Damodar Prasad Sharma, the bench refused to conduct the hearing,” Rastriya Banijya Bank’s Lawyer Ramesh Karki told this daily. Justice Magar told the lawyers that he would not hear the case because he was embroiled in a controversy when he and two other justices ? Kedar Prasad Giri and Badri Kumar Basnet ? upheld a Supreme Court verdict issued by justices Arjun Prasad Singh and Badri Bahadur Basnet, revoking the sugar mill from the black list.
Four months ago, the Public Accounts Committee had recommended the House of Representatives to impeach the judges who had removed the sugar mills from the blacklist.
The bench was supposed to conduct a final hearing of the case.
The director of the firm had filed the petition challenging the Nepal Rastra Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank and the CIB for blacklisting his firm as a bank defaulter.
Rayamajhi Report Case Hearing on March 11

Supreme Court on Sunday rescheduled the final hearing on a writ petition seeking implementation of the Rayamajhi Commission report for March 11."As per the approval of the Chief Justice, we have rescheduled the hearing on the case for March 11," Supreme Court Spokesperson Durga Prasad Dawadi said.Though, according to Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah's single bench, the final hearing was supposed to take place on Sunday, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel had deferred the same on Friday.
Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali had filed the Public Interest Litigation seeking the apex court's order to the government to implement and make public the report.The report has recommended action against 202 persons for suppressing the Jana Andolan-II.Meanwhile, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) interrogated former Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi and former Minister for Information and Communications Tanka Dhakal as per the Rayamajhi report.
The CIAA quizzed them for their role in misusing the state treasury and for doling out cash to journalists during the royal regime.Also on Sunday, CIAA commissioners said they are planning to summon regional and zonal administrators and other officials appointed during the royal regime.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

CIAA grills royal ministers Shahi, Dhakal
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has grilled two ministers of the then royal cabinet for misusing state treasury during their term.
The CIAA grilled then Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi and then Minister of Information and Communications Tanka Dhakal, reports said.
Shahi was made Home Minister immediately after the February 1, royal takeover. Dhakal served as Minister for Information and Communications immediately after the royal takeover and then served as the Minister for Local Development till the success of the April movement.
The CIAA had already grilled royal ministers Kamal Thapa and Shrish Shumsher JB Rana as per the recommendation of the Rayamajhi Commission.
The high level commission formed to probe the atrocities committed to suppress the pro-democracy movement of the country led by former Supreme Court Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi recommended action against 202 people including then chairman of the government King Gyanendra for their role in suppressing the April movement.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bill on political parties tabled; SAC discusses election bills
The government has tabled the bill on political parties at the interim parliament on Friday.
The bill, which aims to strengthen democratisation of political parties, was tabled by Minister of State for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak on behalf of Home Minister Krishna Sitaula.
The bill, which was registered at the parliament secretariat a few days ago, was tabled on Friday. It proposes to make it illegal for political parties to announce bandh. The bill proposes that parties avoid organising any programs like bandh that can affect country's economy or traffic blockades that affect people's lives. Likewise, the bill proposes against wall-painting, pasting and graffiti-writing by parties on private properties without owners' consent. They are also asked not to vandalise public or private properties when organising their programs. All these activities have been deemed illegal.
Another significant aspect of the bill is that it also attempts to introduce the concept of state-financing of parties. The bill proposes that the state provide grants to the parties based on the votes they garner. Parties that garner at least one percent of votes in the national elections will be granted with proportional amount of resources. It has also made provisions regarding the donations or financing of the parties by national or international government, organisations or individuals.
The bill also prohibits the parties from enlisting corrupt persons, black-listed defaulters and those declared bankrupt by the court, as their members. It asks parties to make their executive committees inclusive and properly keep and regularly publicise the asset lists of their office-bearers.
As per the provision in the interim constitution, the bill makes it mandatory for parties to submit signatures of 10,000 people if they want to be registered at the Election Commission (EC). This provision, however, will not be applicable to the parties that are represented in the current parliament.
The parties will have to audit their financial transactions and present the report to the EC within six months of the completion of a fiscal year. The EC can impose fines on the parties who do not abide by this provision. The bill will come into force after the parliament approves and enacts it.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) discussed various election-related bills on Friday. They initiated discussions on Bill on Election Commission; Election (Crime and Punishment) Bill, and Bill on Constituent Assembly Court.
Various members at the SAC meeting put forth 73 amendment proposals on those bills. At the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Bhoj Raj Pokharel appealed to ensure the autonomy of the Election Commission.
SC Puts Off Hearing on Rayamajhi Commission Report

The Supreme Court has put off the final hearing on a case demanding the government implement the report of Rayamajhi Commission on suppression of last year’s people’s movement. The court had earlier scheduled to hear the case on Sunday.
The weekly cause list of the court published on Friday has deferred the final hearing on the case. The apex court, however, has not set another date for the final hearing.
"I am surprised by the deferral despite the court had scheduled the final hearing for Sunday," advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali, who had filed the writ petition, said. "This is not reasonable as the defendants have already submitted their explanations," Gyawali added. He had filed the petition demanding court order to the government to implement the report and to make it public.
Spokesperson for the Supreme Court Durga Prasad Dawadi said the deferral happened just because of technical reasons. "The next hearing date will be fixed soon as the Supreme Court does not have any mal-intention to defer the case," Dawadi added.

Friday, March 02, 2007

American University event on Nepal

Talk program was organized in American University, Washington college of Law on “Building Democracy in the face of Nepal’s mounting crisis.” Program was jointly organized by Centre for Human rights and humanitarian law and South Asian Law student association. Supreme Court advocate from Nepal, Dinesh Tripathi was invited to deliver a speech on the topic. Advocate Dinesh Tripathi underlined that: Nepal is passing through enormous crisis, upheaval and challenges. There are enormous and huge challenges toward building a full and genuine democracy in Nepal. The People’s will and aspirations could be materialize only through accountable democratic institution. Only full fledge democracy with socio economic justice could be the basis for lasting and genuine peace in Nepal. The election of the constituent assembly could be the only legitimate vehicle for creating new constitional and new democratic order. It will create a framework for the participation of common man in the constitution making and democracy building process in Nepal. The Common man’s direct participation in the constitution building process is vitally important, because it will establish the ordinary citizen’s sense of empowerment and ownership on the constitution. Nepalese people do not want imposed or given constitution any more. The people of Nepal are aspiring for full and genuine sovereignty and complete justice and freedom. Formal and procedural democracy is not enough. Nepalese people all over the world allow to participate and vote in the constituent assembly election. The era of kingship has gone. The people of Nepal do not want monarchy in any form. The republican form of government shall be the basic feature of the new the constitution. It is a proven fact of Nepali history that monarchy and democracy could not go together in Nepal. The palace of Nepal always acted against the will and aspiration of Nepalese people and always dismantles and subverted democratic institution with the help of military. That’s why Nepalese people want to do away with monarchy forever. The king of Nepal is extremely unpopular and hatching conspiracy against the upcoming constituent assembly election. The constituent assembly could be the only legitimate vehicle to exercise sovereign rights of the people. The recent statement of king is the biggest insult of people’s struggle for democracy and self rule. The king has no authority or right to issue a statement in the present changed context. It goes against the very spirit and mandate of people’s movement. His recent statement reflects his dangerous and evil mind set which is serious threat for democratization process of Nepal. Immediate action should be taken against king and political actor of Nepal should take this statement very seriously. The democratization process of Nepal is under severe threat. The anti- democratic and anti people element of the country does not like the notion of constituent assembly. They do not want people’s supremacy and sovereignty. The holding of the election of constituent assembly in due date is one of the most crucial task and it must be held on due date at any cost; otherwise it would be damaging and disastrous for democratization process. There should be no excuse for the delay and postponement of the constituent assembly election at any cost. New constriction shall chart a future course for new Nepal. Nepal has to restructure the feudal and undemocratic structure of the state. It shall establish the basis for social, economic and political democracy. The periodical election and right to vote is important and central to the democratic governance but it is not enough in itself, People of Nepal are also aspiring for economic and social democracy and justice. The new constitution of Nepal must address the problem of vast exclusion, marginalization and exploitation. It has to build an inclusive democracy. The backward, exploited, madhesi and dalit, janjatis should get equal rights and dignity. The issue of exclusion needs to be address immediately and coherently. The biggest threat for democracy building in Nepal is the undemocratic character of military. Currently it is the most undemocratic institution. The democratization or effective and actual civil control on the military is the central issue of the democracy building process in Nepal. In order to build genuine democracy military must be brought under civilian control.

The culture of the impunity is the biggest obstacle for democracy building process in Nepal. There is no transitional justice mechanism in the place in Nepal. Not even single perpetrator of human rights violation has brought to the justice. Nepal should immediately ratify the Rome statue of international criminal court and all the perpetrator of human rights violator should be brought to the justice. The culture of impunity should not allow to continue. The culture of impunity creates a vicious cycle of human rights violation. The king of Nepal also brought to the justice because he is responsible for massive and serious human rights violation in Nepal. No crime should go unpunished. Nepal also needs a process and mechanism for truth and reconciliation. The problem of internally displaced people must be address immediately and urgently.

Deepa Padamnavan gave a brief introduction of guest speaker in the program.

CIAA grills royal minister Rana

The Commission for Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has questioned former state minister of the royal cabinet Shrish Shumsher JB Rana for his role on misusing state treasury to suppress the people's movement.

CIAA officers grilled Rana, who was the State Minister for Information and Communications during the direct rule of the King for over two hours.

The investigation officer grilled Rana on the misuse of state funds and for doling out money to journalists.

Rana distributed money from the state fund to journalists to disseminate information in favour of the royal regime.

The officer asked Rana to show up again after four days.

The CIAA recorded Rana's statement as per the recommendation of the Rayamajhi commission.

The high level commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi formed to formed probe the atrocities committed to suppress pro-democracy movement of the country recommended action against 202 people including then head of the government King Gyanendra.

The CIAA grilled Home Minister of the royal government Kamal Thapa on Wednesday.

The CIAA has also summoned former ministers Dan Bahadur Shahi and Tanka Dhakal to record their statements.

Eight district judges are hardworking: SC

Only eight of the 114 judges in the 75 district courts decided more than 500 cases, the annual report of the Supreme Court 2062/2063 BS said.The report has recognised them as the “most hardworking” judges of the fiscal year. Sunsari District Court Judge Shekhar Prasad Paudel decided 780 cases, Parsa judge Tirtha Raj Devkota decided 677 cases, Siraha district judge Bal Chandra Sharma decided 663 cases, Dhanusha district judge Achyut Bista decided 618 cases, Dhanusha district judge Bhim Kumar Ojha decided 566 cases, Kathmandu district court judge Sushama Lata Mathema decided 522 cases, Mahottari district court judge Kumar Prasad Pokharel decided 511 cases and Mohattarai district judge Ishwor Raj Acharya decided 506 cases, the report said. Altogether 25,167 cases were decided in the 75 district courts in the fiscal year 2062/63, the report said. However, less than 10 cases were filed in 10 district courts. Only 10 cases were filed in the Mustang district court, while two cases were filed in Manang district and nine cases were filed in Accham.During the fiscal year, more than 1,500 cases were filed in 15 districts, including Jhapa, Morang, Sharalahi, Saptari, Bara, Rautahat, Kathmandu, Lalitpur Bhatapur and Banke.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Major defies SC-appointed panel’s summons

A major of the Nepali Army who was summoned by a Supreme Court-appointed panel investigating a case of four missing persons has been defying the summons.
“Major Purushottam Bikram KC is yet to show up though we have requested the secretary of the Ministry of Defence Bishnu Dutta Uprety several times in this regard,” an official of the panel said.
The panel, headed by appellate court judge Lokendra Mallik, had written to the Defence Ministry asking it to direct the major, who is the head of the No 1 Bahini of Field Gulm in Thankot barracks, to give his statement in the case. The panel is probing how and under what circumstances four persons — Bipin Bhandari, Rajendra Dhakal, Dil Bahadur Rai and Chakra Bahadur Katuwal — went missing. The panel had found clues that the four were detained by the army, but was not heard of after that. The panel recently found a skeleton in Okhaldhunga, which the panel says is that of Katuwal. A DNA test is underway to confirm this.
Security persons had arrested Bhandari and Rai in 1999 and Dhakal in 1995 and detained them in army barracks for a few years.