Thursday, May 31, 2007

Court sets Jwala man free

The Special Court freed Chattan Singh, alias Bishow Nath Pundit, one of the 56 Jwala Singh men accused of attacking a police station in Saptari and looting arms and ammunition from the police in Pathargada.The Kathmandu District Government Attorney Office (KDGAO) had yesterday filed a state offence case against Nagendra Paswan, alias Jwala Singh, and 56 of his men including Chattan.A three-member bench of judges Bhoopdhoj Adhikary, Komal Nath Sharma and Cholendra SJB Rana did not set a bail amount while freeing Chattan.According to the charge sheet, the group overpowered security officials and looted two rifles,300 magazines and some Chinese pistols from the police station.The prosecutors demanded maximum sentence for the defendants as per section 3 (2) of the State Offence Act 2046.Jwala Singh, Kailash Miya, Ram Babu Yadav, Bablu Miya, Mohammad Jiyhul, Siya Ram Ram, Shyam Yadav, Ram Brichhya Mehta, Yadav Gohit and Lala Miya were the prime accused in the state offence case.
ICJ Urges Govt to Review Civil Code Bill

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Wednesday wrote to Speaker Subas Nembang urging him to criminalise disappearances by making suitable changes in the Civil Code-1963 amendment bill.It also called upon the Speaker to prosecute those responsible for the disappearances in the past 10 years. It also urged the parliament to end impunity.In the letter, Secretary General of the ICJ, Nicolas Howen, recommended 23 changes in the bill.Stating that there are many flaws in the bill, the ICJ suggested promulgating an independent legislation to address the crime. It further suggested compensating families of the victims.The ICJ added that the definition of disappearance in Section 1 of the bill is not in conformity with the recognised definition of 'enforced disappearance' in international human rights laws.It also recommended a separate legislation on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of persons.Stating that there should not be a time limit while filing a case on missing persons, the ICJ said the time should commence from the moment the issue is first made public.The jurists' body also recommended national legislation barring amnesty for those involved in the disappearances.It also recommended trying those involved in disappearing persons in common law courts by avoiding military tribunals and allowing third parties with a legitimate interest to take legal recourse.It further suggested that Nepali courts be allowed to rely on circumstantial evidence.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Case Filed Against JTMM (Jwala) Leaders

The Kathmandu District Government Attorney's Office on Tuesday filed a case against Nagendra Paswan, alias Jwala Singh, and his 56-men group on charge of state offence.The prosecutor filed the case against the Jwala Singh group on the charge that the government has accused them of attacking a police station in Saptari district and looting arms and ammunitions from police in Saptari Pathargada.According to the charge sheet, the group had taken control of security officials and had looted two rifles, 300 magazines, some Chinese pistols and four round of magazines from the police station.The government attorney had produced Chattan Singh, alias Bishow Nath Pundit, in the court along with the case and 56 persons were made defendants in the case. The government attorneys, however, could not identify 17 other defendants.The prosecutors demanded maximum sentence for the defendants as per section 3 (2) of the State Offence Act 2046.Jwala Singh, Kailash Miya, Ram Babu Yadav, Bablu Miya, Mohammad Jiyhul, Siya Ram Ram, Shyam Yadav, Ram Brichhya Mehta, Yadav Gohit and Lala Miya are the main accused in the case and the others are co-accused in the case. The prosecutors demanded court orders to arrest the defendants.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Envoy attack flayed

The Supreme Court Bar Association has condemned Friday’s attack on US ambassador James F Moriarty and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Abraham Abraham in Damak. HimRights, an NGO working for human rights, also expressed serious concern about “disrespectful acts” like pelting vehicles of diplomats with stones.
Case against officials

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Sunday filed a corruption case against two officials of the Bagmati Transport Management Office. Raman Shrestha and Kanchha Rana have been accused of registering a vehicle in Rajip Maharjan’s name without charging customs duties. The CIAA charged them with letting go Rs 16 lakh while transferring the vehicle’s ownership certificate from one Rajan Napit.
Bill tabled to amend civil code


The Government has registered a bill at the Legislature-Parliament Secretariat for bringing amendments to the Muluki Aina (Civil Code) aimed at establishing measures to check 'disappearance' of people.The bill provides that the person who is involved in the 'disappearance' of any individual could be tried for murder in case the latter dies during the course of the disappearance.The person who arrests, keeps under custody or control the individual who has been 'disappeared' will be regarded as the main person involved in the disappearance of the individual, it is stated in the draft bill. Likewise, in case the person who is responsible for the disappearing of the individual concerned is not ascertained then the Chief of the Office where the individual was kept under control, custody or imprisonment before being disappeared would be regarded as the prime accused.The bill also describes the situation where the official who has the authority to arrest as per the law, carry out investigation and interrogation or enforce the law does not allow the individual he/she has arrested or kept under any kind of control is not allowed to meet his/her family, not release information about his/her whereabouts to anyone or deprives the arrested individual from the protection he/she is entitled to as per the law as a state of 'disappearance'.As per the draft bill, on the basis of the period and situation of disappearance, the person involved in the disappearance could be imprisoned to five years in jail and a fine of Rs. 50,000. The person who has ordered the disappearance would also be entitled to the same level of punishment.Similarly, the persons instigating the disappearance, involved or accomplice in the act of disappearance would be liable to half of the sentence given to the prime guilty.As per the provisions in the Bill, in case the individual who has been disappeared reappears the person involved in the disappearance will have to compensate for the period with a fine of Rs. 500 per day and appropriate compensation in case the individual has been subjected to physical and mental torture. In case the person who has been disappeared dies, the compensation could be received by the next to kin. Likewise, the Clause 8.b. of the Civil Code has been added in the bill to add provisions for legal punishment against those involved in kidnapping or holding people captive.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lawyers Seek Law and Order, Safety
Lawyers on Friday urged the government to maintain law and order in the country.
Organising a protest programme on the premises of the Nepal Bar Association, they urged the government to put an end to anarchy and provide security to legal practitioners. The lawyers called on cadres of political parties, including those of the Young Communist League, not to threaten them. Around 400 lawyers took part in the protest programme.
The lawyers said they will not defend anyone in court if anyone threatens them."No one has the right to threaten lawyers. Even a criminal has the right to appoint a lawyer to defend his/her case. We cannot support anyone if s/he threatens any lawyers," president of the Nepal Bar Association, Bishwa Kanta Mainali, said.
Mainali called on the government to provide security to lawyers on duty and take action against those who attack them. "We cannot let the attackers go free and we cannot support them," Mainali said.
President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Prakash Raut, said the lawyers won't defend those who threaten their colleagues. "We should launch a campaign against the group who pose a threat to the lawyers and the rule of law."
Govt to begin judicial probe into Terai unrest
The government on Friday decided to set up a high-level commission to investigate into the loss of life and property during the Madhesi unrest spearheaded by the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) in February.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence at Baluwatar today agreed to form a five-member commission headed by Supreme Court justice Khila Raj Regmi.
"A decision to form a high-level probe panel under the co-ordination of SC justice Khila Raj Regmi was taken today," said government spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara after the meeting.
The judicial probe has been one of the demands of both the Madhesi lawmakers who repeatedly disrupted parliamentary sittings and the agitating MPRF who have refused to sit for talks until such a probe panel was formed.
The cabinet also decided to allow the eight parties to seek an outlet to the stalled parliamentary proceedings and fix a date for the deferred Constituent Assembly elections.
The meeting also discussed ways to resolve the teachers' issue and other political deadlock.

Friday, May 25, 2007

SC nod on business benches

Commercial benches will be set up in six appellate courts, the Supreme Court said on thrusday .A full-court meeting of Supreme Court judges, which was held thrusday decided to set up commercial benches in Patan, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Hetauda, Pokhara and Nepalgunj appellate courts, registrar of the Supreme Court, Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena, said.The commercial benches will look cases related to company disputes, secured transactions,contracts and banking, negotiable instruments, arbitration, intellectual property rights, finance, foreign investment, insurance, securities, partnership, construction and transportation.The commercial benches will be formed in accordance with Secured Transition Act 2007, Insolvency Act 2007 and Company Act 2007.
Corruption undermining judicial system

Corruption is undermining judicial systems around the world, denying citizens access to justice and the basic human right to fair and impartial trial, sometimes even to a trial at all, according to the Global Corruption Report 2007: Corruption in Judicial Systems issued by Transparency International.

According to the report, Nepalese judiciary is perceived to be among the most corruption-afflicted sectors.

"Judges often supplement their meagre salaries with 'incentives' from lawyers."The judicial system is viewed as too expensive and corruption-ridden; poor people often turn to Maoist courts for prompt justice in petty cases. A spirit of collegiality among judges hinders peer oversight and opens the door to corruption, the TI report said about Nepal.The new Global Corruption Report concludes that a corrupt judiciary erodes the international community's ability to prosecute transnational crime and inhibits access to justice and redress for human rights violations.Asia's middle to high-income countries, governments of many low income countries (including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) have lowered their commitment to ensuring adequate support for courts and their personnel, inviting corruption and undermining the rule of law, the report said.Two thirds of people who used a court in 2004 paid bribes, with the typical bribe amounting to 25 percent of average annual income in Bangladesh, according to the report.
When courts are corrupt, ordinary people suffer judicial corruption usually falls into two categories: political interference in the judicial process by the legislative or executive branch, and bribery. The importance of an independent judiciary cannot be overemphasised, the report pointed out."Equal treatment before the law is a pillar of democratic societies. When courts are corrupted by greed or political expediency, the scales of justice are tipped, and ordinary people suffer," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. "Judicial corruption means the voice of the innocent goes unheard, while the guilty act with impunity." Everyone loses when justice is corrupted, in particular the poor, who are forced to pay bribes they cannot afford. TI's latest global survey of attitudes towards corruption reveals that in more than twenty-five countries, at least one in ten households had to pay a bribe to get access to justice. In a further twenty countries, more than three in ten households reported that bribery was involved in securing access to justice or a "fair" outcome in court. In Albania, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan and Venezuela, the figure was even higher.Petty bribery and political influence in the judiciary erode social cohesion: one system for the rich and another for the poor fracture communities.
"If money and influence are the basis of justice, the poor cannot compete," said Akere Muna, TI's vice chair and president of the Pan African Lawyers' Union. "Bribery not only makes justice unaffordable; it ruins the capacity of the justice system to fight against corruption and to serve as a beacon of independence and accountability." According to a 2002 survey, 96 percent of respondents in Pakistan who had contact with the lower courts had encountered corrupt practices, while in Russia, an estimated US $210 million in bribes is thought to be spent on law courts annually.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CJ Urged to Help Appoint NHRC Chief, Members

Nine officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), including deputy director and acting secretary, Murari Kharel and Padhma Mathema, met Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel, who is also an ex-officio member of the Constitutional Council on Wednesday.The council appoints the chiefs and members of constitutional bodies.The NHRC officials asked the Chief Justice to exert pressure on the government to appoint NHRC chairperson and members."The Chief Justice said he will play a positive role in this regard," acting secretary of the NHRC, Padma Mathema, told reporters."Being a member of the Constitutional Council, I will do the needful for the appointment once the Constitutional Council takes full shape. The PM has not appointed three members to the Constitutional Council."The Chief Justice also advised the officials to meet the Prime Minister and ask him to give full shape to the Constitutional Council.The posts of NHRC chairperson and members have been lying vacant for 11 months. NHRC officials have been meeting officials concerned to take initiatives for the appointment of the chairperson and members. According to the NHRC officials, decisions on several complaints have been pending due to the non-appointment of the chairperson and members and hindering the NHRC's efforts to protect human rights.The NHRC officials have met Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahana Pradhan and Minister for Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara with the aim of filling the vacancies at the NHRC, an official said. "They have assured us that they will propose the appointment of NHRC chairperson and members in the cabinet meeting soon," he added.We have been saying that we be allowed to meet Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in this regard on Friday.
Maoists, govt failed on HR committments: AI

Amnesty International (AI), a global human rights watchdog, on Wednesday concluded that both the government and the Maoists failed to implement their commitments to human rights in 2006.
"All the agreements signed in course of the talks included human rights commitments. However, many of the pledges were vaguely worded and few had been fully implemented by the end of the year," AI stated in its annual report on Nepal.
The London-based human rights watchdog released its report, Amnesty International Report 2007, Wednesday worldwide simultaneously. In Nepal, AI Chapter made public the report at a program in Kathmandu. The report covers human rights situation of 153 countries, according to AI Nepal Chapter Director Rameshwar Nepal. The report stated that the role of the National Human Rights Commission remained unclear due to the delay in the appointment of commissioners. The posts have remained vacant since July last year.
The marginalized groups were under-represented in the peace process, the report said. "Neither the SPA government nor the CPN (Maoists) leadership included women in their peace talk teams."
AI, in the report, further said that there were reports of unlawful killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment, extortion, threats and harassments by members of the CPN (M) despite the party's public commitments to respect international human rights standards.
On the state of impunity, the report said the Nepali authorities were reluctant to proceed with criminal investigation into past human rights violations even when detainees' reports were presented by local human rights defenders and the OHCHR. "Neither the security forces nor the CPN (M) took concrete steps to strengthen accountability within their ranks," the report stated.
Similarly, widows and single women were particularly at risk of violence and harassment last year, according to the report.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Call to enact election laws

The National Network of Election Monitoring on Tuesday issued a call to enact laws for holding constituent assembly elections. A statement issued here by the network also reinforced the need to announce the date for holding the elections at the earliest.The network of 14 NGOs has also issued a call to parliamentarians to stop disrupting House proceedings. “Parliamentary pandemonium must stop now while the concentration should be on elections,” said Subodh Pyakurel of the network at a press meet.The network has decided to depute 25 teams to various parts of the country once the elections get underway.

Bibek luitel murder case: Lawyers barred from defending accused

A group of around a hundred people on tuesday barred two advocates from defending a murder accused in the Supreme Court. The advocates were to defend Sakila Manandhar, one of the accused in the Bibek Luitel murder case.Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)condemned the incident and the threats issued against advocates Lava Prasad Mainali and Tikaram Bhattarai.The two lawyers withdrew from the case after the group forced the duo to do so in the morning. The lawyers were preparing for the case when the incident happened.While the group forced Mainali to sign a commitment that he would not defend the accused, it also forced Bhattarai to promise not to take up the case.The two advocates informed the Supreme Court about the developments and said they will not plead in the case. NBA and SCBA representatives and the two advocates also met Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and informed him of the incident.“He assured us that he will take up the matter with chiefs of security agencies and place it before a full court meeting of justices,” Bhattarai said.The advocates also registered complaints in the NBA and the SCBA.The accused, who is is detention, had moved the apex court challenging the Patan Appellate Court’s refusal to grant her bail.A single bench of Justice Rajendra Koirala that was supposed to hear the case decided to put off the hearing after the advocates filed the complaints.The NBA and the SCBA have taken the incident as a threat on the rule of law and professional independence of lawyers.“This is a serious matter and the government must take steps to control such activities in the future,” a press release issued by SCBA secretary Shiva Rijal said.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

CJ’s call to publish more books on law

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel called on publishers to publish more books on law so that more people have access to knowledge on law, which in turn would “help stop injustice.”“Ignorance of law creates injustice, thus writers and publishers of books related with law also contribute to providing justice,” Paudel said, adding: “More private parties should also take to publishing law books because efforts by the government alone in this regard are not sufficient.”The Chief Justice said this while addressing a programme on the final day of the four-day law books’ exhibition organised by Pairavi Prakashan. The CJ, on behalf of the Pairavi Prakashan, honoured former Supreme Court Justice Gyaiendra Bahadur Shrestha for his contribution in writing legal books.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Apex court activates 1992 Civil Service Act
The Supreme Court on wednesday said that the Civil Service Act,1992 has automatically been activated, as the Civil Service Ordinance-2005, which had amended the Act, has ceased to remain in force.
Issuing a verdict, a division bench of Justices Bal Ram KC and Pawan Kumar Ojha said: “Since the Ordinance was not turned to an Act as per the provision of the 1990 Constitution — under which the Ordinance was promulgated — the 1992 Act comes into force automatically.”
King Gyanendra led Council of Ministers had promulgated the Ordinance amending the provisions in the Civil Service Act but the Ordinance lapsed last July, as it was not endorsed by the Parliament.
Observing that any Ordinance promulgated by the government must be endorsed by the Parliament to be an Act, the bench stated that since the Ordinance was not produced before the Parliament and was not endorsed by two-thirds majority of the House it does not exist as a legal provision.
The bench interpreted the provision issuing a certiorari order acing on separate writ petitions filed by engineer of the Water Induced Disaster Management Office, Kamal Prasad Sapkota, and overseer of Narayani Irrigation Management Office Shiva Chandra Chaudhary.
“Since the Ordinance does not exist, the 1992 Act comes into force,” the bench ruled. The office of the Civil Personnel Record had told Sapkota to take retirement on May 22 and Chaudhary on June 13 as per their dates of birth based on citizenship certificates under the Ordinance.
Claiming that the government had given them compulsory retirement activating the provision of the Ordinance, the petitioners had moved the apex court. They challenged that it was illegal to force them to take compulsory retirement based on the dates of birth of their citizenship certificates and they are entitled to enjoy facility as per the 1992, Act to take retirement next year based on the birth date mentioned in the seat roll while joining service.
SC puts off Sobhraj case hearing
The Supreme Court on wednesday put off final hearing on the appeal filed by suspected international serial killer Charles Gurumukh Sobhraj. A division bench of Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Gauri Dhakal put off the hearing as per the request of government attorney Tika Bahadur Hamal. The case was placed before the bench for the final hearing.The government had filed the appeal challenging the Kathmandu District Court and Patan Appellate Court verdicts that had issued clean chits to Sobhraj on a fake passport case. Using a fake passport, Sobhraj had visited Nepal in 1975.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tortured scribe compensated

The District Administration Office, Dhankuta, provided Rs 20,000 as compensation to journalist Ambika Bhandari, who was tortured by the police for allegedly being a Maoist. CDO Nava Raj Upadhyaya handed over the cash to Bhandari in accordance with an Appellate Court verdict that was issued earlier in her favour.Bhandari, who had been reporting from Dhankuta for the Janaastha Weekly, was arrested on December 16, 2001 under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Control and Punishment Ordinance (TADO). She was held in police custody till April 18, 2003, where she was tortured.Bhandari, who hails from Kuruletenupa VDC-2, filed a lawsuit in the District Court on May 22, 2003 under the Compensation Related to Torture Act 2053 against the DAO and the district police office, Dhankuta. A bench of the District Court judge Hari Kumar Pokhrel had issued a verdict that a sum of Rs 20,000 be given to her.
CIAA Stalls Appointment of Registrar at NAMS

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Tuesday directed Nepal Academy of Medical Sciences at Bir Hospital not to allow the newly-appointed Registrar, Dr Shreekrishna Giri, to join duties.The CIAA also informed the Ministry of Health and Population about its decision as Assistant Health Minister Girirajmani Pokhrel had recently appointed Giri.Dr Giri was appointed after removing Dr Ranjan Prasad Singh from the post without any valid reason, the CIAA said."Dr Singh's removal without any ground was illegal as he was appointed in the post for a period of four years," a highly-placed source at the CIAA said.The CIAA said it has started an investigation into the matter.Meanwhile, the CIAA said it has been investigating the transfer of 10 ropanis of land in the names of a few individuals after the death of its owner Hirakaji Sikrikar of Tebahal, Kathmandu.The CIAA said the land should have gone to the government as Sikrikar had no legal heir who staked claim on it.
Military court punishes officers over tender bid
Nepali Army (NA) has punished some of its officers and other personnel for their involvement in irregularities in ration tender.
The military court under the Military Act-2063, punished the then chiefs of the Bhairavidal battalion in Rukum district, Bhawanibux battalion in Dailekh and Shreedal Company in Tehrathum district, among other NA personnel, for their involvement in irregularities during tender bids for the supply of ration to NA barracks.
The tender was conducted some six months ago.
A press statement, issued by the NA Directorate of Public Relations, said the commanders of Bhairavidal and Bhawanibux battalions will be relieved of their responsibilities, and they will also be deprived of promotion for the next two years.
Likewise, around a dozen NA personnel including majors, captains, lieutenants and other personnel have been punished in connection with the scandal.
Local suppliers had accused NA officials of preventing them from applying for the tender.
The NA had formed a probe commission headed by Colonel Shekhar Singh Basnet, director of food and transportation at the NA, to find out the truth behind the public complaints.
In the past, the district administration office of Jumla had requested the Home Ministry to initiate action against NA officials for conducting "artificial competition" in the district regarding ration tender.
In some districts, NA officials had threatened to kill suppliers and their representatives if they failed to withdraw from the bidding, according to "victimized" suppliers.
Two members of Judicial Council nominated
Two senior advocates have been nominated as members of Judicial Council.
Senior advocate Basudev Dhungana has been nominated as per the recommendation of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) whereas senior advocate and former Attorney General Motikazi Sthapit has been nominated by the Prime Minister, in accordance with the Interim Constitution.
The Council – which is headed by Chief Justice – includes one senior-most judge of Supreme Court and Justice Minister as other members apart from two nominated members (one by NBA and one by PM).
As per the Article 113 of the Interim Constitution, the Judicial Council is authorised to make recommendations and give advice in accordance with the Constitution concerning the appointment of, transfer of, disciplinary action against, and dismissal of Judges, and other matters relating to judicial administration.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SC show cause on use of tainted glass

The Supreme Court yesterday issued show cause notices to the government authorities, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, demanding reasons as to why certain people have been allowed to use tainted glass in their vehicles.A single bench of Justice Gauri Dhakal has given 15 days to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management, the Department of Labour and transport Management, the Police Headquarters, the Headquarters of Armed police Force, the Headquarters of Nepali Army and the Valley Traffic Police Office to submit their written affidavits.The bench was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocates Bhojendra Khatri and Kirti Bahadur Karki. The petitioners accused the authorities of providing facilities to the high-ranking officials of the police and army to use tainted glass.“This is nothing but against the equality concept of the Interim Constitution and the Transport Management Act-1992,” the petitioners claimed.The advocates sought the SC order to the authorities to implement the Transport Management Act in letter and spirit.

SC accepts petition against judges

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted a writ petition that challenges the appointment of two judges in the Rautahat massacre probe panel.The government had on March 23 assigned Patan Appellate Court Judge Hari Prasad Ghimire and Jumla District Court Judge Ananta Raj Dumre to probe the killing of 29 Maoists on March 22, but advocate Rajiv Banstola had challenged the government’s decision claiming that it was unconstitutional.On Friday, a single bench of Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi had ordered the Registrar to accept the petition.
Nepal Bar Asks Pak to Stop Suppressing Lawyers

The Nepal Bar Association (NBA) on Mondayurged the government of Pakistan to stop meting out atrocities against lawyers taking out peaceful demonstrations.In a memorandum submitted to the Pakistani embassy, the NBA also expressed concern about the use of force in peaceful demonstrations that resulted in the death of many people.Led by NBA president Bishwa Kanta Mainali and general secretary Raman Kumar Shrestha, a group of lawyers had gone to the embassy to submit the memorandum. The NBA also called the Pakistani government not to impair the independence of the judiciary."The NBA would like to express its solidarity with the lawyers' community struggling for the independence of the judiciary and professional independence of judges and lawyers in Pakistan," the memorandum stated.The NBA also expressed concern about the Pakistani government's legal action against private newspapers.The NBA said it is observing developments in Pakistan after President Pervez Mushrraf's direction on March 9 to the Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan to consider allegations of misconducts against Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

SC Working to Amend Its Regulation

The Supreme Court is doing homework to make some provisions of the Supreme Court Regulation 1992 compatible with the Interim Constitution 2007 the himalayantimes reports ."We (a full-court meeting of judges) are doing homework to make provisions that contradict with the Interim Constitution compatible," a Supreme Court Justice told on condition of anonymity.The full-court meeting has discussed the issue twice. It will take up the issue again two weeks later. "Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Regulation contradicts with Article 107 (4) of the constitution," the judge said, adding, "Apex court judges have felt that the rule is creating problems while delivering final verdicts."
A provision in the Supreme Court regulation says the judges' bench which decided a particular case can review it, while the Interim Constitution says another panel of judges should review the case."The Supreme Court may review its own judgments or final orders subject to the conditions and in the circumstances prescribed by law. Such a review shall be done by judges who were not engaged earlier in making the said judgment," Article 107 (4) of the constitution states.Some of the judges have been saying that the parliament should amend the constitution considering the practical problem of the apex court. Others have been saying that the Supreme Court regulation should be amended to make it compatible with Article 107(4) of the constitution.
"If the parliament does not amend the said article of the constitution, the apex court will need more judges to review cases," a justice said. About 700 review petitions are pending in the Supreme Court.
Bill to clip King's authority to confer awards
A bill clipping the King's authority of conferring awards, honours and decorations has been registered at the parliament.
As per the bill, a separate committee headed by the Prime Minister will be formed to confer awards, honours and decorations from now onwards. The committee will include Home Minister, Defense Minister, Information and Communication Minister, Education and Sports Minister, chief secretary and one nominee by the PM from among distinguished personalities.
The bill has also introduced new honours, awards and decorations abolishing the past ones.
In the category of honours, the bill has introduced Nepal Ratna, Rastra Gaurav, Rastra Deep, and Jana Sewa Shree.
The bill introduces decorations such as Rastra Yashobardhak, Nepal Sewa Pravin, Samaj Sewa Ratna, Param Paurakh Bhaskar, Ati Paurakh Bhaskar, Maha Paurakh Bhaskar, Nepal Pratap Subhushan, Nepal Pratap Abhushan and Nepal Pratap Bhushan.
While the Param Paurakh Bhaskar, Ati Paurakh Bhaskar and Maha Paurakh Bhaskar decorations will be conferred to Nepali Army soldiers who display outstanding valour, the Nepal Pratap Subhushan, Nepal Pratap Abhushan and Nepal Pratap Bhushan will be conferred to gallant members of police force.
Likewise, the bill introduces awards such as Lok Shree Padak, Rastra Sewa Padak, Satkarya Padak, Samaj Sewa Padak, Sagarmatha Padak, Sukirti Padak, Birta Padak, Shaurya Padak, Prakritik Prakop Piditoddar Padak, Bikas Ratna Padak, Shanti Padak and Bigyan Pravin Padak.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

CJ stresses efficient employees


Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel said the employees can also play a significant role to increase people's faith and trust towards court.Chief Justice Poudel expressed such views at a blood donation programme organised here Friday by the Supreme Court Unit Committee and the First National Gathering Coordination Committee on the occasion of the First Anniversary of the Judiciary Employees Concern Committee.Stating that the people cannot get justice in a smooth and convenient manner unless the employees here are efficient and confident, Chief Justice Poudel said the employees should pay much attention to provide fast and smooth services to the people.Registrar at the SC, Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena said it is good for the employees in the courts to be involved in the sector of social services as well.Similarly, Chairman of the Nepal Bar Association, Bishwo Kanta Mainali opined that all the people concerned to the court should make the court a centre of credence. At the programme presided over by the convenor of the committee, Binod Adhikari, Deputy-Convenor, Nawaraj Gautam and member Tej Bahadur Khadka said the committee was established to guarantee the rights of employees in the court, to maintain judicial good governance and to keep people's faith strong on the court.
SC to test legality of judges in probe panel

The Supreme Court said it would test the constitutionality of the appointment of two judges in the Rautahat massacre probe panel.
The government on March 23 appointed Patan Appellate Court Judge Hari Prasad Ghimire and Jumla District Court Judge Ananta Raj Dumre members of the panel investigating the killing of 29 Maoists in Gaur on March 22.
A single bench of Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi said the appointment of the judges raised a constitutional question.
The bench observed that the government must seek the consent of the Judicial Council before appointing a judge in such panels. It said that in this case the government did not consult the Judicial Council.
“Since it is a constitutional question, the rejection order in the writ petition passed by the Registrar cannot exist,” the bench held. The bench also ordered the case be produced in the bench for a final hearing.
Claiming that the government has no authority to appoint any judge without the consent and advice of the JC, advocate Rajiv Banstola had filed the writ.
However, Registrar of the Supreme Court Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena had refused to register the case.
The petitioner demanded a certiorari order to scrap the government’s decision to appoint the judges. It also demanded an explanation on how the government appointed the judges and how the Chief Justice approved the decision without producing the issue before the Judicial Council.

Friday, May 11, 2007

SC refuses bail to murder accused

The Supreme Court (SC) refused to grant bail to four persons, who were sent to judicial custody on the charge of killing Samjhana Shah Saxena two years ago.
A division bench of justices Anup Raj Sharma and Ram Kumar Prasad Shah upheld the orders of the Kathmandu District Court (KDC) and Patan Appellate Court to send them to judicial custody and prosecute the murder case.The case is pending in the KDC.
Challenging the orders of the lower courts, four relatives of Samjhana, including husband Laxmi Prasad, mother-in-law Rama Devi and father-in-law Amar, had moved the SC.
The SC also upheld the decision of the KDC and Patan Appellate Court to issue warrant orders against the other accused in the murder case, Anup Saxena and Simran Saxena.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Supreme Court hosts reception

On the occasion of Law Day, the Supreme Court hosted a reception on Wednesday .Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel and Speaker Subash Nemwang attended the reception.Also present were the Attorney General, Ministers, former Prime Ministers, former Chief Justices, Supreme Court Justices, the Chief of the Army Staff, Heads of Constitutional Bodies, senior officials of the Government of Nepal, diplomatic representatives, leaders of various political parties and legal practitioners.
NBA submits memo to PM
Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Wednesday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, demanding that the date of proposed elections for the Constituent Assembly (CA) be announced immediately and the report of the Rayamajhi Commission be made public.
A delegation led by NBA President Bishwa Kant Mainali submitted the memorandum to the Prime Minister at the latter's official residence at Baluwatar, Kathmandu.
NBA has also expressed concern over the continuation of culture of impunity, and demanded that justice be done with regard to those found guilty by the Rayamajhi commission.
"The Prime Minister, while receiving the memorandum, asked us to submit the memorandum even to other political parties, assuring us he would act on our demands," said Hari Upreti, NBA Vice President, after meeting the Prime Minister.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Law Day : CJ stresses fair justice

Chief Justice Dileep Kumar Poudel has said all should make contributions from their own places for the stability based on law and justice by embracing the fact that sustainable development and peace would be established only through justice. In a message, delivered on the occasion of Law Day 2064 BS, Chief Justice Poudel has expressed gratitude for supports received by Judiciary in delivering justice in fair, economic and easy manner even at the time of difficulties in the country. Stating that our judiciary had been discharging responsibilities of providing justice based on free judiciary, rule of law, fundamental rights, civil liberty and value and norms of democratic system with top priorities, Chief Justice Poudel has said the judiciary has felt that the responsibilities have further deepened. In the message, Chief Justice Poudel has extended best wishes to users of courts, judges, lawyers, employees working in the field of justice and all Nepali people.
Law Day : CJ stresses fair justice

Chief Justice Dileep Kumar Poudel has said all should make contributions from their own places for the stability based on law and justice by embracing the fact that sustainable development and peace would be established only through justice. In a message, delivered on the occasion of Law Day 2064 BS, Chief Justice Poudel has expressed gratitude for supports received by Judiciary in delivering justice in fair, economic and easy manner even at the time of difficulties in the country. Stating that our judiciary had been discharging responsibilities of providing justice based on free judiciary, rule of law, fundamental rights, civil liberty and value and norms of democratic system with top priorities, Chief Justice Poudel has said the judiciary has felt that the responsibilities have further deepened. In the message, Chief Justice Poudel has extended best wishes to users of courts, judges, lawyers, employees working in the field of justice and all Nepali people.
SC orders govt to protect disabled's rights

The Supreme Court issued a mandamus to the government to protect the rights of physically challenged people by managing their access to the public services and constructing disabled-friendly buildings.In response to a writ petition filed on behalf of disabled, blind, mentally retarded and deaf persons, the division bench comprising justices Kedar Prasad Giri and Khil Raj Regmi ordered the concerned authority to submit a report about the progress of work regarding the access of disabled persons to public facilities in every six months to the SC, according to a press statement issued by Pro Public Tuesday.
SC seeks military court verdict on Maina case
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Army Headquarters to furnish the "original" verdict of the military court on the Maina Sunwar case within seven days, a move that is likely to spark a jurisdiction controversy between the civilian court and the military court.

In the meantime, the police have recently issued an arrest warrant against former captains of the Nepali Army Amit Pun and Sunil Adhikari, two of the three army officers accused in the death of Maina Sunwar, a police source in Kavre told the Post over phone Tuesday. However, the source declined to divulge details on the matter.

A division bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma and Ram Kumar Prasad Sah on Tuesday passed the order in response to a writ petition filed by Devi Sunwar, mother of Maina Sunwar.
Fifteen-year old Maina Sunwar "died" from torture inflicted during the course of interrogation by the army in Birendra Peace Operations Training Center at Panchkhal, Kavre district, in February 2004.

Maina's mother, with support from Advocacy Forum, moved the court with the writ petition after the police failed to take action against the guilty army officers involved in the "death" of her daughter in army custody.

She has sought the SC to pass an order to the concerned authorities to punish the culprits.
A military court in September 2005, had decided to punish Col. Babi Khatri and his subordinates; Captains Amit Pun and Sunil Adhikari for the "death" of Maina Sunwar following intense national and international pressure.

However, the army has kept the verdict secret to date. The army has not even cooperated with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in this regard.

But national and international human rights communities still maintain that the punishment handed down to the guilty was not commensurate with the gravity of the crime. Khatri is still in uniform while the other two accused have reportedly quit the army.

The SC order today is likely to erupt into yet another controversy over the jurisdiction of the civilian court and the military court. In 2004, army had questioned the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court when the latter sought a verdict of the Court of Inquiry, set up by the army, on the dismissal of then army Major Prajjwal Basnet.

At that time the court had withdrawn from the controversy by quashing the writ petition of Basnet, a missed opportunity to the court to demarcate the jurisdiction of the civilian court and the military court.

Similarly, the court also ordered the police to furnish details of its investigation on the death of Maina Sunwar, within seven days.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

CIAA grills NRB governor Bhattarai
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Tuesday interrogated the governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Bijay Nath Bhattarai, on charges of unlawful transactions during the erstwhile royal regime -- to suppress the Jana Aandolan-II. Governor Bhattarai recorded his statement at the CIAA in the afternoon. He was summoned for questioning today morning.The Rayamajhi Commission in its report has implicated him, along with dozens of royal functionaries, in financial irregularities to suppress last year’s mass uprising. Acting on the probe report, the anti-corruption body has already interrogated the vice-chairmen duo of the royal regime, Dr Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista, then ministers and former Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Pyar Jung Thapa on misuse of state funds.

HRW urges Maoists to release child soldiers

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Maoists to immediately release all child soldiers from their forces, whom it said have been 'held for months in the cantonments sites'.

In a letter sent to Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, who is the central committee member of the Maoist party, the human rights body said on Tuesday that this was necessary to secure the Maoists' cooperation with the United Nations and child protection agencies to allow children to return home without further delay.

The rights body has claimed that of more than 30,000 PLA members registered in the cantonments created under Comprehensive Peace Agreement, an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 are children under the age of 18.

"There's no excuse for letting children languish in cantonment sites month after month," a statement by the organisation quoted its children's advocate Jo Becker as saying. "Under the terms of Nepal's peace agreement, these children should be released immediately so they can enter rehabilitation programs, get back into school, and rejoin their families," he said.

The peace agreement between the government and the Maoists in November specifically prohibits the enlistment or use of children under the age of 18, and specifies that such children should be immediately rescued and provided with rehabilitation services.

The letter sent to Bishwakarma reminded the minister of his presence in a February conference in Paris, where representatives from 58 countries committed themselves to putting an end to the unlawful recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts.

At the conference, participating governments had agreed to support and apply new guidelines called the 'Paris Principles,' for protecting children from recruitment and providing assistance to those who have already been involved with armed forces or groups.

Becker further said, "Minister Bishwakarma should work with the Maoists to implement the commitments that have been made." Human Rights Watch also claimed that it has 'credible reports' of Maoist forces recruiting children in various parts of the country.

United Nations secretary-general to the UN Security Council in a report in December 2006 recommended that the Maoists should immediately end the use of children and cease any new recruitment of children in their forces. It said the Maoists should immediately engage with the UNMIN for an action plan to ensure transparent procedures for the release and verification of all children within the Maoist armed forces and all other Maoist-affiliated organisations.

Chief of the UNMIN Ian Martin has also repeatedly stated the presence of a large number of children in the Maoist forces. Denying exact numbers, Martin said they would be rescued from the cantonments for rehabilitation, to be carried out by UNICEF, after the second phase of verification. Maoists hav

Monday, May 07, 2007

Royal Ministers Can’t Go Abroad: Govt Tells SC

The government on Sunday told the Supreme Court that it has decided to bar ministers of the royal government led by King Gyanendra from going abroad.It was responding to a show cause notice issued by the apex court on its decision to bar former Finance Minister Roop Jyoti from leaving for the US.In a written reply, the Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet, Madhav Paudel, said the decision had been taken as the former ministers have been implicated in the report prepared by the Rayamajhi Commission that probed suppression of Jana Andolan-II. “Jyoti’s name figures in the Rayamajhi report and this is the reason why the government barred him from leaving the country,” the reply said.It added that until and unless the report is fully implemented and made public, and until the ministers prove their innocence, they will not be allowed to leave the country. The government, however, claimed that it does not mean to violate the rights of the persons implicated.
Kharidar held while making fake passport

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Sunday arrested two individuals including a Kharidar of Lalitpur District Administration Office red handed while they were involved in making a fake passport. After the arrest Arjun Ghimire and the broker Tuknath Dhakal (Ramesh) are kept under CIAA custody for investigation, said Ratnakaji Bajracharya, the spokesman of the CIAA. Ghimire was found carrying Rs. 3,000 and Dhakal Rs. 26,000. After the CIAA was informed about the illegal activities in the office, it had assigned a team to investigate into the matter. The gang was found to be involved in providing passport to the individuals who are from outside the Kathmandu Valley with the help of fake document, CIAA source said. The Commission had already taken action against Kharidar Ghimire on a similar case and he was punished with five years' grade stop. Even after the action of CIAA, Ghimire was recommended for promotion as he concealed the documents that implicated in corruption but the CIAA finally stopped his promotion, said Bajracharya.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Supreme Court orders Amatya group to pay back bank loans
The Supreme Court has directed Pyush Bahadur Amatya and his brother Daman Bahadur Amatya of the Amatya group to pay back over three billion rupees to banks and financial institutions from where they had taken loans about 12 years ago.
A division bench of Justices Bala Ram KC and Tahir Ali Ansari issued the order settling a four-year-old dispute between the financial bodies and the business group.
The Amatya group is the biggest wilful defaulter in the country and was under the scanner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) for the past few years.
The group had taken over one billion rupees from the Rastriya Banijya Bank, Nepal Bank Limited, Employees’ Provident Fund, Nepal Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC) and the Agricultural Bank.
The loans had been taken to operate Hotel Fulbari Resort in Pokhara in 1996. However, the group has not paid a single installment till date and the amount now payable stands at three billion rupees.
The Rastriya Banijya Bank had recommended the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) to blacklist the group after several notices to clear the loan in 2004 were ignored by the group.
However, the group had moved the apex court, challenging the CIB’s decision to blacklist it. Upholding the CIB’s decision to blacklist the group, the bench observed that the CIB was right in doing so under the Nepal Rastra Bank Act.
Dhakal deposits bail at RID
President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Chandi Raj Dhakal, who is facing the charge of evading tax, has deposited Rs 8.6 million in cash and three plots of land worth Rs 16.9 million as bail at the Revenue Investigation Department (RID) on Thursday.
According to an RID source, some lawyers and Dhakal's well-wishers approached the RID on Thursday morning and made enquiries about the bail procedures. Later they deposited the bail on behalf of Dhakal.
However, the bail procedure couldn't be finalised as one of the three plots of land submitted for bail could not be valued during the office time.
Dhakal has been absconding since Monday to avoid possible detention on tax evasion charges after the RID issued arrest warrant against Dhakal in the case after Dhakal repeatedly defied its summons to record a statement on the charges.
RID has accused Dhakal's Memento Apparels, the largest garment factory in the country, of cheating Rs 8.6 million in customs duty by producing forged documents.
CIAA grills ex-minister G.C
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Friday interrogated former royalist minister Khadga Bahadur G.C in connection with the allegation of misuse of state funds to suppress the Jana Aandolan-II.
G.C, the local development minister in the erstwhile royal government, went to the CIAA office to record his statement as per a summon order issued few days earlier. He is one of dozens of key functionaries of then royal regime who have been accused of corruption and suppression of last year's mass uprising.
Acting on the report of the Rayamajhi Commission, the anti-corruption body has already interrogated the vice-chairmen duo of the royal regime, Dr Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista, then ministers and former Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Pyar Jung Thapa on misuse of state funds.
The government has authorised the CIAA for investigation into corruption-related cases as pointed out by the Rayamajhi Commission.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Government’s executive authority not justiciable
The government thrusday told the Supreme Court that it amended the Police Regulation 1992 to form the Metropolitan Police exercising its executive authority and that the issue was not atall justiciable .Submitting an affidavit in the apex court, Chief Secretary of the government, Bhoj Raj Ghimire, said it is the exclusive executive authority of the government to promulgate laws and regulations and the same need not be examined by the Supreme Court.The government had amended the Police Regulation 1992 on February 12 this year, but the regulation had already been implemented from November 17 last year.Responding to Supreme Court show cause notices, the government submitted the affidavit in the court.Advocate Madhav Kumar Basnet had challenged the government decision to amend the Regulation with retrospective effect.He had claimed the amendment was against the principle of law and the spirit of of the Interim Constitution of 2007 to promulgate a retrospective law.The government claimed it can also amend any regulation with retrospective effect and that the Metropolitan Police was formed to maintain security in the country.“Maintaining law and order and security in the country is an exclusive authority of the government and the Supreme Court cannot test the matter. It is not a justiciable issue,” the government said in its reply.“It is the job of the government to promulgate and amend Acts,” it said. “The government is doing the same in line with the spirit of the second Jana Andolan,” it added.“Under the doctrine of political necessity, the government has the authority to promulgate Acts that are compatible with the changed political system,” it said.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pre-conditions on second phase PLA registration unacceptable: Martin
Chief of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) Ian Martin on Tuesday said that the second phase of the Maoist arms, armies registration and verification should begin unconditionally.Martin further said that any pre-conditions on the issue would not be acceptable to the UNMIN.
The UNMIN chief made the statement during a press conference organized in the capital today prior to his departure for New York to brief the UN Security Council regarding the UNMIN's involvement in the peace process and the progress made in the last three months.
During the press conference held at Pulchowk's UN building, Martin said that he had already informed that Maoist top leadership that any pre-conditions would not be acceptable to the UN.
He commented that the UNMIN was preparing for the next phase of fighter's and arms verification but the process could not be started because of Maoist activities.
Martin's comment comes amidst the stalemate in the second phase of the registration process – initially slated to begin from today – following the Maoist's stance of proceeding with the registration process parallel with tackling the political issues.
He mentioned that the second round of fighters' verification would be crucial in identifying underage fighters as well as separating those combatants recruited after the signing of the Ceasefire Code of Conduct last year.
The UNMIN chief has also said that the living conditions inside the PLA cantonments were not satisfactory, adding that it was "crucial" that the condition of the camps be improved immediately.
In another context, Martin said that the deferral of the Constituent Assembly elections must not be taken as a sign of "calamity" or a guarantee of success.
He also expressed confidence that the interim administration would decide on fresh polls date in consultation with the Election Commission shortly.
Martin suggested that the time remaining should be used to resolve complex questions facing the peace process.
The CPN-M had refused to allow immediate verification of its combatants confined in cantonments under United Nations monitoring, citing "deadlock" in the political process, and poor living conditions of combatants - an obligation of the government.
earlier,The CPN-Maoist has refused to allow immediate verification of its combatants confined in cantonments under United Nations monitoring, citing "deadlock" in the political process, and poor living conditions of combatants - an obligation of the government.
In a meeting on Monday of the UN-chaired Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee, that comprises members from the Nepali Army and the Maoists' People's Liberation Army (PLA), Maoist representatives said they would allow verification immediately after the political deadlock is broken and the government fulfills the physical requirements at the cantonments.
The political process hit a roadblock after the Election Commission said it wouldn't be possible to hold constituent assembly elections, which were scheduled for June. Likewise, Maoists have been saying that the government hasn't released adequate budget to Maoist combatants for food and accommodation.
"Also, the government hasn't yet released the monthly salary of Rs 3000 for each combatant for a period of five months as agreed before the formation of the interim government," Nanda Kishor Pun aka Pasang, who is the vice-chairman of JMCC, told The Kathmandu Post. "Otherwise, the government wouldn't have been formed in the first place."
Pasang also questioned how verification could start when "the combatants don't have food to eat and place to live". "It's not true that we are blocking the verification process… Even the draft of an agreement that should be approved by the JMCC prior to the start of verification hasn't been readied."
Though the government has pledged to fulfill all requirements, said Pasang, the Finance Ministry hasn't released the required budget. "The Ministry says the number of PLA in the cantonments should be reduced to 16,000 to 17,000 and it says many of them aren't genuine PLA members," said Pasang. The Finance Ministry has however said Rs 840 million has already been released to the Maoists for the purpose. The JMCC is meeting later this week to discuss the issue.
The total number of Maoist combatants and weapons registered with the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) is 31,152 and 3,475 respectively. On April 12, after completing registration of Nepali Army weapons, UNMIN had said it would start verification, the second phase of the arms management process, "shortly". Earlier in February, after completing the registration of Maoist combatants and their weapons, UNMIN had said verification would start mid-March. The deadline was later pushed to May 1.
Arrest warrant issued against FNCCI prez
Revenue Investigation Department (RID) has issued an arrest warrant against Chandi Raj Dhakal, president of FNCCI, the apex body of business chambers, after he defied a number of summons issued by RID to record a statement on tax evasion charges.
Once Dhakal is arrested and produced at RID, a quasi- judicial body, he will have to deposit a bail amount of Rs 25.5 million to avoid detention. RID has accused Dhakal's Momento Apparels, the largest garment factory of the country, of cheating Rs 8.6 million in customs duty by producing forged documents at the bonded warehouse.
A government source informed the Post that the arrest warrant was handed over to Metropolitan Police Kathmandu late in the evening. The warrant has asked the police to arrest Dhakal and his brother Tika Raj Dhakal, co-owner of Momento Apparels, and produce them before RID.
Confirming the action, deputy director general and spokesperson of RID Laxman Pokharel said that the department has initiated necessary legal procedures against Dhakal. However, he declined to give further details.
Dhak Bahadur Karki, chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police, told the Post that necessary instructions have been issued to all police units concerned to arrest Dhakal.
RID had sent Dhakal the last summon letter on Friday, but he refused to accept it. RID on Sunday pasted the letter at his house in the presence of local police and ward officials. The letter ordered him to produce himself at RID by 3 pm on Monday.
"We had no option but to issue the arrest warrant after he ignored the last warning," said the official.
RID had summoned Dhakal for questioniong after an investigation revealed that Momento Apparels was involved in "serious financial crime", producing counterfeit documents to avoid customs duty.
Amendment in foreign labor act proposed
The government has proposed another amendment to the Foreign Employment Act to allow the state to export workers to countries that have diplomatic ties with it.
The proposal - tendered at the House of Representatives (HoR) - states that any governmental office or body or state-owned agency should be allowed to send job aspirants, seeking foreign employment opportunities, abroad.
The government has also proposed that the government body that has received labor quotas from abroad should be allowed to select workers as per conditions laid by the labor recipient country or through open competition.
In the existing Foreign Employment Act there is no provision that allows the government to export workers to foreign countries.
Shyam Prasad Mainali, secretary of Ministry of Labor and Transport Management (MoLTM) said that the amendment was sought to clear the roadblock, which is preventing the government from signing the labor agreement with the South Korean government.
Once the provision is included in the Act, it will open the way for the government to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Employment Permit System (EPS) with the South Korean government. However, the irony is that the government has sought another amendment to the Act at a time when the legislature is yet to endorse a bill, which incorporates second amendments made to the Act.