Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Abuse Of Authority
Log in

Forgot your password?

Abuse Of Authority

Issue July 2018

Abuse Of Authority

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Abuse of authority has been the main problem in Nepal. The main source of the corruption has been the abuse of authority. How could the country like Nepal develop economically when everybody is for abusing the authority s/he is entrusted with? Ministers defend asphalting the mud, and the construction work in the rainy season. The irony is that even the government with the two-thirds majority has been a mute spectator of laying asphalt on the mud. It is unimaginable how Prime Minister Oli could watch the video posted on facebook that shows how workers have been asphalting the mud. Poor Prime Minister Oli, either he has been helpless to prevent the construction during the monsoon or he is simply enjoying it because it pays for him or he has developed tolerance of corruption after initially he is having zero-tolerance of corruption. The main opposition NC party President Sher Bahadur Deuba has not stopped abusing his authority even after the defeat of his party in the last general elections. He has several excuses for abusing the authority such as the government’s decision on setting the specific sites for protest rallies, and overturning of the decisions Deuba made when he was a prime minister the last time, then fasting of Dr Govinda KC, and of Gangamaya Adhikari and so on.


If anybody watches the videos posted on facebook s/he could find that some workers were putting asphalt directly on the mud in this monsoon season when the rains have been the everyday events. Probably, Prime Minister Oli, and his Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth have watched such videos but did not do anything means they are abusing their power doing nothing against somebody wasting the State resources on the useless work such as laying asphalt on the mud. Now, the question is why these ministers who have authority to change any decisions the previous government had made surprisingly did not want to stop those guys laying asphalt directly on the mud and wasting the national resources if these ministers have not share in it.


Another example of these ministers doing nothing in the case of the road repair that is urgently needed is the videos of the Boudha road where the rain waters have flooded the road and the conditions of the road have been simply unimaginable but Prime Minister Oli, and his Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth did nothing so far even though apparently some contractors could pave the road on the mud but nothing has been happening in the area where the repair and maintenance of road are urgently needed. The question is why these ministers did not repair the road; the appropriate answer might be probably these ministers would not get any share in doing so. These questions might be highly exaggerated ones for some folks but these questions are surely valid.


These two examples are only representatives of thousands of such construction work have been currently going on elsewhere in Nepal. Everybody having the facebook access could watch these two videos. However, thousands of construction work has been going on elsewhere in Nepal of which videos are not posted on the facebook. Folks could listen to the radio news and watch the TVs and understand and even see the construction work going on at the peak monsoon season.


The contractors chose the monsoon season because they could quickly finish the job and use less materials and equipment and machines, and labor making profits everywhere. Contractors did not have to be a laughingstock constructing the roads at the dray season because that would not bring the profits as much as they do during the rainy season. Why should they care about the folks traveling on the road when they could make profits doing low quality work? Probably that is what the decision makers also want because they did not contract out the jobs as long as the season is favorable for the construction work, and wait for the onset of the monsoon season. They did not care about the abuse of authority because Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) could not do anything as long as they follow the rules and regulations that did not prohibit the contractors working during the rainy season, and the decision makers making decisions as late as possible.


Budget worth billions of NPR allocated to the construction work is currently wasted. Probably, the ministers and the concerned decisions makers don’t think that the State money is wasted on asphalting the mud because using the huge chunk of the construction budget during the rain seasons means filling up the pockets of those ministers directly or indirectly involved in the construction work and surely their colleagues in the parliament, who happened to be the owners or masters of the construction companies. They don’t want to be called contractors because the word contractor is derogative for them, as the contractors make only money and don’t do the work.


To the question of why the contractors and the State decision makers sleep for the rest of year and then suddenly wake up to the monsoon rains and start digging the roads, and use the most of budget allocated for a year to do the work, Finance Minister Yubraj Khatiwada said that the authority to do the work was given late and the contractors have to do the work somehow. However, the finance minister did not say why the State decision makers make decisions on awarding the contract work to the contractors so late making the contractors to do everything at the end of the fiscal year means in the first month of the monsoon. Obviously, the finance minister did not want to share the reasons for the State decision makers making so late decisions with anybody because he did not like to expose his colleagues how they have made money out of the delayed decisions.


Even any non-engineer person could say that the work done during the rainy season would not be of any quality any roads needed. Digging and filling up the roads are done hastily, and asphalts are laid on the mud. How long those asphalts stay on the ground? Not even for a month, then the next fiscal year starts, and the contractors could get another job and sleep for eleven months and then wake up in the last month of the fiscal year because the concerned authorities have neglected to transfer the authority to start the construction work, as the finance minister said. Finance Minister Dr Khatiwada needed to answer whether the concerned authorities not timely transferring the authority to work to the contractors means they are abusing authority, and defending such abuse of authority and the contractors working in the most unworkable conditions means probably the finance minister also abusing the authority or not.


Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has collected the list of non-performing contractors from the district chief administrators, and he was for taking the strong actions against the contractors. The nervous construction contractors’ lawmakers challenged the home minister in the House stating the faults are not only of the contractors for not completing the construction work on time. Certainly, the faults of not completing the construction work are not only of the contractors but also of the ministers and other decision makers and finally the monsoon rains. Thus, the construction contractors becoming the lawmakers defend the non-performing construction contractors rather than their constituents that have been the victims of the non-performing contractors.


Apparently, Home Minister Thapa has not done anything or shelved his plan of actions to bring the non-performing contractors to justice because nothing has been stated in the media what he has been done to punish the non-performing contractors recently. If Home Minister Thapa would not be able to bring the contractors to justice means the contractors are running the administration not Prime Minister Oli or his Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth or his Finance Minister Yubraj Khatiwada because these ministers have been so helpless that they have been simply watching the laying of asphalt on the mud and the horrible conditions of roads or they are simply dancing to the tune of the contractors making Home Minister Thapa a laughingstock.


How could Prime Minister Oli that has been repeatedly saying that he has the zero-tolerance of corruption tolerate such construction work of asphalting the mud in the rains? Probably, Prime Minister Oli has a different definition of corruption; so, the wasting State money on laying asphalts on the mud is not surely corruption for the prime minister because he could tolerate it. If it is so then Nepalis would not have any roads that would last for a season and they would need to enjoy the same rough and muddy roads forever. Surely, some highways the donor agencies have built and run for several years but those highways also when they come to Minister Mahaseth, would have the same fate of those that have been built during the rainy season.


Now, the question is to Finance Minister Dr Khatiwada that has set the target of eight percent economic growth for the fiscal year 2018 that starts on July 16, 2018 and ends on July 15, 2019 whether he would be able to achieve his target of the economic growth wasting the so scare national resources on asphalting the mud. The money spent on such asphalts and the laborers and machines would be totally wasted because it would not surely work to make the good road that was supposed to give an economic return if paved well. The traffic on such roads would be slow, vehicles would have high wear and tear, fuel consumption would be high, and commuters would spend much more time on commuting than on work. All these things would adversely impact on the economic target Dr Khatiwada has set.


Then the question is why Finance Minister Khatiwada needs to defend the construction work done during the rainy season, and defends the not so defendable work on asphalting the mud. Nobody could defend laying asphalt on the mud no matter whether he is Finance Minister Khatiwada, or Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth or Prime Minister Oli. If they do they deserved to be labeled as the corrupt ministers robbing the State treasury for asphalting the mud and not doing anything to build the totally ruined roads. They are abusing the authority or mandate the voters have given them.


Smart Home Minister Thapa has effectively broke up the syndicates of transporters, and froze the bank accounts of the syndicates, and opened up the way for anybody to register a new transport company and run any buses on any routes; thus the home minister has fruitfully use his authority in the interest of the common folks. However, Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth has pulled out the Director of Department of Transport Management Rupnarayan Bhattarai that had sincerely work to finish off the syndicates of transporters, and brought Bhattarai to the ministry and kept him without giving not only any jobs to do but also even a chair to sit. Obviously, Minister Mahaseth is preparing the ground for firing former Director of Department of Transport Management Bhattarai. For what, for the good job he had done breaking up the syndicates of transporters. How could a sincere State employee work if anybody worked so sincerely had to face such consequences?


Surely, Minister Mahaseth is abusing his ministerial authority punishing the sincere director Bhattarai and probably saving the corrupt syndicates of transporters because the minister in question must have his deep-rooted interest in the syndicates of transporters otherwise he has no other reasons for punishing the director of the department of transport management and saving the transporters. Probably, nothing more is needed to prove that the minister in question is involved in the corruption for the prime minister to take actions against such an unscrupulous minister but Prime Minister Oil has not woken up to this situation, yet.


Prime Minister Oil in his cabinet of ministers made the decision on rolling back all the decisions his predecessor Sher Bahadur Deuba had made after the Election Commission issued the code of code for the political parties to follow at the time of the election to the National Assembly. Then, Prime Minister Oil could recommend the president to fire the seven provincial governors and he himself could fire others appointed to various political positions. President Bidhya Bhandari would gracefully follow the recommendations of the prime minister because she has been the president with the favor of Prime Minister Oil.


Former Prime Minister also current President of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba has tactfully warned Prime Minister Oil, of his party and he would fight against the unconstitutional decisions Prime Minister Oil has made on overturning his decisions. They would work in the parliament, and fight in the court and on the streets, too. How Deuba would manage all those things remains to be seen. If he were really to do all these things what he said he would then he would be surely abusing his authority of the main opposition party.


Probably, Home Minister Thapa has been instrumental to set the sites for the peaceful rallies in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur so that such rallies would not hinder the public transport and commuters would not stuck on the roads for hours. That has been one of the most sensible decisions Prime Minister Oil’s government has made. It has protected the rights of the protestors and at the same time of the commuters to move smoothly without any delay.


However, the NC leaders including Deuba have vehemently opposed the correct decision the government made in the interest of all actors involved in. They have sent their political cadres to challenge the government’s decision setting the stage of the protest rally at the site supposedly the prohibition would come to effect only on July 16, 2018. Thus, the NC cadres have been for breaking up any rules and regulations to meet their political and other interest disregarding the interest of the common folks. They have been abusing their power and authority.


Probably, one of the attorneys of the NC party must have gone to the Supreme Court demanding the government to rescind the decision made on setting the specific sites for the protest rallies. Hearing on the petition, the Supreme Court bench has issued an interim order to the government stating not to enforce the decision on setting the specific sites for protest rallies.


Surely, the Supreme Court as one of the four pillars of democracy needed to make sure that the rights of the protestors are safeguarded; at the same time, the Supreme Court would certainly protect the rights of the commuters to travel safely and easily and timely. So, everybody could anticipate that the ruling of the Supreme Court would be in the interest of all folks.


Now, Dr Govinda KC, who has earned the reputation of fasting every time a new government comes in power to force his wishes on the new government. He has successfully forced every government to come to him for mutual understanding even though such understandings have not been enforced in the past probably would not in the future, too. This time, Dr KC is in Jumla to stage his fast-unto-death protest if the government would not meet his demands; no matter whether those demands would be enforced or not. Probably, the site must be quiet and nobody would disturb him while fasting.


NC leaders have been supporting Dr KC whether his demands are logical or not. One of his demands is for not opening up medical schools in the Kathmandu Valley for ten years, and each university not giving affiliation to more than five medical colleges. The government statement says that 500 Nepalis go abroad for medical education every year. Anybody could guess how many millions of foreign currencies go to for educating Nepalis in the medical education abroad. So, the country needs to open up medical colleges to meet the growing demands of new generation for the medical education.


Thus, NC leaders have many excuses to stop the proceedings of the House, and take the issues to the court or to the streets. However, NC lawmakers have already started off disrupting the House session demanding to take back the bill on medical education the Oli government has submitted to the House. The government has omitted certain clauses that have been included in the medical education ordinance. Dr KC has been protesting against the deletion of such clauses staging a hunger strike. Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has been even concerned with the leg pain of lawmakers that have been standing for obstructing the House session.


Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara postponed the second meeting of House of Representative held on July 6 for Monday, July 9, 2018 after the NC lawmakers disregarding the request of the Speaker to be seated in their respective seats, continued standing and obstructing the meeting. NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu said that NC lawmakers would obstruct the meeting until the government put Dr Govinda KC's issue on the agenda for deliberation, the RSS news on stated on July 6, 2018. No rational thinking person would deny that the NC lawmakers have not abused their status and law-making authority obstructing the proceedings of the House.


In reply to the questions of the lawmakers at the National Assembly, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said demands of Prof Dr Govinda KC would be addressed through the democratic procedures; accordingly, a bill on the medical education has been already presented at the House, the news on stated on July 8, 2018. Home Minister Thapa assured the lawmakers of addressing the demands of Dr KC that has been on the fast-unto-death protest since the past nine days in Jumla, demanding the reforms in the medical education while Gangamaya has been surviving on the saline at the Bir Hospital for long, seeking justice for her son murdered during the Maoist insurgency, the news stated.


Giving in to the pressure of the human rights activists, and surely of Gangamaya Adhikari that has been in a hunger strike demanding to bring the killers of her son Krishna Prasad Adhikari to justice, the main accused Chhabilal Paudel, 68, a resident of former Phujel VDC of Gorkha surrendered to the Supreme Court on July 8, 2018; the court sent him to the Dillibazaar jail, the news on stated on July 9, 2018.


Speaking at an event the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) held in Kathmandu on July 8, 2018, Minister for Education Giriraj Mani Pokhrel urged Dr. Govinda KC to end his hunger strike and fly to Kathmandu for discussion with the government, as the government was willing to present the Medical Education Ordinance Bill in line with the Mathema recommendations; Dr. KC has been against the government decision to submit a revised bill on education that deleted the main points the Mathema report aimed to improve the medical education, the news on stated on July 8, 2018. Minister Pokhrel also made it clear that the government was committed to set up a National Education Commission to end any irregularities in the education sector, the news stated.


Choosing Jumla, as his place for staging the do-or-die protest was to draw the attention of the government to the Karnali region, said Dr Govinda KC. To the question to why he chose Jumla for his 15th hunger strike, he said, “I started this hunger strike hoping to improve medical services here; I will take treatment from doctors here. Why would I need doctors from Kathmandu?” “People have instilled happiness in my life; I am staging this protest for them; the government, however, has not been paying any attention to my demands.” He accused the previous governments of reaching agreements with him but not enforcing them. Although Karnali Institute of Health Sciences where Dr KC is currently in the hunger strike was established eight years ago, it has not been able to run MBBS or B.Sc programs, the news on stated on July 8, 2018.


Strange enough that whatever the NC lawmakers have been doing might be a blessing in disguise for the Oli government, as Prime Minister Oil would have one excuse after another to blame the NC for any failures of his administration. Every citizen anticipates the peaceful development of the country after the enforcement of the People’s constitution of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Any attempts on creating the political instability would go against the people’s anticipation for the economic growth. NC leaders would have a better chance of majority of them getting back to the House in the next election if they were to cooperate with the government in every possible sector to make the fast economic development a reality.


Currently, whatever the NC lawmakers have been doing is going to in favor of Deuba but against the interest of the NC. Deuba wanted to divert the attention of his political cadres from his failures to something else so that he could wash off his sin of doing nothing to save his party from the devastating election defeat and not even turning over the political power to the new generation for leading the party to the correct path for the next general elections to win.


NC leaders have many things to constructively opposing the Oli administration. For example, NC lawmakers could stand up and question the prime minister or the concerned minister about why the contractor is laying asphalt on the mud wasting the so crucial national resources but none of them did in the past and would do in the future, too; probably, they must have involved in letting the contractors work in the monsoon period.


However, NC lawmakers have been very smart to query why the vice chancellor of Sanskrit University Kulprasad Koirala was stopped from flying to Canada for participating in the Eighteenth World Sanskrit Convention to be held in Canada starting on Monday, July 9, 2018. Plainclothes police picked up the vice-chancellor while checking in the airport and brought him to the prime minister office stating the prime minister wanted to see him and kept him waiting for one hour without having a meeting with the prime minister, the Radio Nepal morning news stated on July 8, 2018.


Speaking at the National Assembly, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa stated that the Vice-chancellor has to inform the chancellor of the university about his foreign travel following the rules and regulations but he did not do so, that was why the vice-chancellor had to come back home, the news on stated on July 8, 2018.


The vivid example of the abuse of authority has been the low quality aluminum cables used for the transmission line in the Chitwan National Park. The aluminum cable used for the Chanauli-Jagatpur-Madi 33 KV transmission line that goes through the Chitwan National Park has to be changed, the news in the second page of “gorkhapatra’ stated on July 8, 2018. The six-kilometer long transmission line that passes through the Chitwan National Park underground has to be changed after only one-and-a-half years. The underground portion of the cables has stopped working, and needed to replace the cables that are supposed to last for 30 years, the news stated. In any case this failure of the aluminum cables is the sad example of the abuse of authority.


Another example of the abuse of authority is that the Biratnagar Distribution Center of Nepal Electricity Authority has blacklisted 1,300 customers for not paying the electricity bills, the news in the first page of the “artha bazaar” of “gorkhapatra” stated on July 7, 2018. The rules say that if any customers fail to pay the electricity bill for a month then the customer has to pay the bills with 30 percent fine. Surprisingly, how the Biratnagar Distribution Center of Nepal Electricity Authority simply could blacklist them not enforcing the rules and regulations. This sort of corruption is not forgivable.


Prime Minister Oli needed to take up such cases if he has really a zero-tolerance of corruption in his administration. He also needs to define the abuse of authority as somebody using it for the personal benefit or not causing the loss to the nation. In both case, officials must be held accountable.


Not only Prime Minister Oli needed to take actions against such obviously corruption businesses of asphalting the mud, and not forcing the customers to pay the electricity bills but also the opposition lawmakers that have been so concerned with the trivial things wasting their time and energy on such matters. However, not surprisingly, those lawmakers have not raised any questions about such irregularities in the businesses of the Nepal Electricity Authority, and putting asphalt on the mud, probably, their own past misdeeds would be exposed if they do.


July 9, 2018






1) Transferring 45,415 Civil Servants To Provincial, And Local Governments


The federal government is all set to transfer 45,415 civil servants out of the total 86,000 civil servants to the provincial and local governments from the central level, the news reporter Ram Prasad Dahal wrote on on July 8, 2018, and the reporting continues as follow.


The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has prepared the preliminary organizational structure of the federal, provincial and local government offices and the estimated civil servants required for them.


Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit said that out of the total 86,000 civil servants, 45,415 would be transferred to the provincial and local governments from the central. “The ministry decided to do this as many responsibilities of the central government have now been shifted to the lower level governments,” he said. After the transfer, the federal government will have 45,000 civil servants and the provincial governments 16,570, while the local governments 57,000 staffers.


The ministry has also finalized the organizational structures of the three-tier governments.


Talking to “The Rising Nepal”, Minister Pandit said that his ministry already sent the preliminary organizational structure of the government offices and the civil servants required for them to the cabinet for its final endorsement. “I hope the Cabinet would finalize the proposal within this week,” he said. The civil servants integration process would speed up after the cabinet endorses the proposal. Following the endorsement, the transitional management of the civil servants would end.


Minister Pandit said that the changes in the organizational structure of the government offices and the required number of civil servants could be done as required in the future.


The government had formed a six-member high level Organization and Management Survey (ONM) committee under the coordination of the Ministry’s General Administration Secretary Shankar Koirala. The committee had submitted its report to the minister after concluding its study in four months.


The study report said that the Federal government would have 21 ministries including the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. The office of the President, Vice-President, 57 Departments including central level government offices, 13 constitutional bodies, Supreme Court, High Court and District Courts, Office of the Attorney General, National Information Commissions and others commissions, central bodies under Federal Ministries, districts police offices, Office of District Administrations, Ilaka (Unit) Administration, Immigration Office, Jail, Postal Office, Government Lawyer offices, Land registration and Measurement (Napi), Custom offices and Treasury Comptroller Offices.


The report said that the Provincial governments will have seven ministries along with Chief Ministers’ Offices, Provincial Assembly Secretariats, Office of Provincial Chief, Divisional and directorate offices of the Physical Infrastructure Development, Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative, Social Development and Industry, Tourism and Forest environment.


Other offices under the Provincial governments include the offices related to agriculture, irrigation, forest, education, road, infrastructure, electricity, drinking water, health, land, livestock development, and guthi.


Likewise, 753 local level (metropolitan city, sub-metropolitan, municipalities and rural municipalities), 77 district coordination committees and agriculture, forest, health, education, irrigation, drinking water’s unit offices will come under the domain of the local governments.


However, experts said the government plan was against the federal spirit.


Former Secretary Krishna Hari Banskota said the government plans had resembled to the plans of a unitary state as it did set the number of organizations, offices and number of staffers for the two levels of lower governments from top. The central government has also failed to consult with the provincial and local governments while taking a vital decision to transfer employees from the central to two lower level governments.


Dr. Narendra Paudel said the number of civil servants to be transferred should be determined through the analysis of job contents required by the three tiers of governments, but the government did not do it.


‘The basic foundation for job analysis is determined by the roles which need to be performed at the three tiers of government,’ Paudel said.


According to Paudel, the human resource development (HRD) is a highly neglected area in the country’s Civil Service sector, which has reflected when the central government has worked on transfer of the employees from the central to lower level of the government.



2) Transitional Justice Reform An Urgent Need In Nepal


GENEVA, July 8, 2018: As the Nepal government begins a process of consultations around proposed amendments to the transitional justice mechanisms, two international organizations have called on authorities to take into account concerns of all stakeholders and to ensure that the amendments comply with international human rights standards and international crimes.


The current draft law fails to address the many gaps in Nepali law that make it difficult to prosecute, especially at senior levels, for international crimes such as torture and crimes against humanity. The Nepal government has ensured an extension of its two transitional justice commissions while also committing to future amendments to comply with international standards and Supreme Court rulings, the groups said. The government is holding consultations around a proposed Commission on the Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CEIDP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) (Amendment) Bill.


“While Nepal has engaged in a transitional justice process over the last few years, with official commissions collecting complaints, holding meetings and generic consultations throughout the country, this is still without any tangible result, and victims say it has left them confused,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “For a successful, internationally accepted process, the authorities in Nepal should focus on providing justice to victims, not engage in trying to get perpetrators off the hook.”


Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists issued the statement after the Nepal government shared a draft bill purportedly to amend flaws in the laws of the CEIDP and TRC Acts. Ahead of submitting further analysis and recommendations in the consultative process, the organizations said that Nepal authorities should take into account concerns of all stakeholders including the groups representing victims of serious crimes by all sides during the civil war, other civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


Nepal’s new government under Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli of the Nepal Communist Party promised that the Nepali law on transitional justice would be brought into conformity with international law and standards as had been directed several times by the Supreme Court. After years of previous governments failing to comply with the Supreme Court rulings, the new attorney general had announced that reforms to the law were underway, which victims’ groups said gave new hope, and as explicitly requested by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and human rights organizations.


While positive changes are noticeable including in relation to reparations, the proposed law authorizes the two transitional justice commissions to authorize prosecutions without strengthening the commissions themselves, proposes a special court without clear guidelines on impartial investigations, and includes a section permitting non-custodial sentences for the most serious crimes. These raise concerns that the proposed draft may not meet international standards of justice and accountability.


The two commissions, which experts say require crucial bolstering, have conducted countrywide hearings and gathered nearly 60,000 cases between them. Victim groups complain that the process has been arbitrary and confusing.


The organizations also noted a number of continuing obstacles to justice, which the bill has not addressed. These include the continued failure to incorporate specific crimes into Nepali law that are serious crimes under international law including torture, enforced disappearance, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In addition, the bill provides for the wholly inadequate sanction of short-term community service as an alternative punishment for those convicted of serious crimes, which may constitute effective impunity. Nor does the bill address the question of command and superior responsibility for such crimes, leaving doubt as to whether those at the highest levels of authority will be held accountable for these crimes.


The international organizations were invited to a meeting with the attorney general and other stakeholders on June 21 but did not have a translated draft available ahead of the discussion.


However, during the consultation, the groups stressed the need for meaningful consultations on the bill. The organizations noted also that universal jurisdiction, which allows for any state to prosecute those believed to have engaged in torture, enforced disappearance, or other serious crimes under international law, will remain an available option for victims to seek justice in cases of serious abuses during the civil war.


“Without a justice process that meets international standards for prosecuting the most serious crimes, such as torture and enforced disappearances, anyone suspected of such crimes in Nepal risks arrest, extradition, and prosecution in the many countries that are committed to prosecuting such crimes,” said Ian Sedierman, Legal and Policy director at International Commission of Jurists. “It is very welcome that the Nepal government is finally looking to address longstanding demands of war victims and should use this opportunity to abide by its obligations, draw up security sector reforms, and pave the way to end impunity.”




Nepal’s civil war, fought between the insurgent Communist Party of Nepal–Maoist (CPN-M) forces and the government, ended in 2006. The armed conflict lasted a decade and led to nearly 13,000 deaths, 1,300 reported enforced disappearances, abductions, torture, and ill treatment including sexual violence; and other abuses by both parties. The war led to an extraordinary effort by the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights to set up an office in the country, charged with monitoring and mapping conflict-related issues. The office issued a report on the violations they monitored. The UN also set up a separate United Nations Monitoring Mission in Nepal, which was charged with monitoring the implementation of the peace agreement.


However, since then, Nepal’s political leaders and security forces have all obstructed any efforts at accountability promised under the peace agreement, leading to concerns over commitment of the government towards its stated goal of securing transitional justice for victims of the war.






Document Actions