Monday, May 28, 2007

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.

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