Himalayan News Service
KATHMANDU: In a bid to modernise the criminal justice system, the Supreme Court Justice Kalyan Shrestha-led panel today submitted a report on the criminal procedure code to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, recommending life sentence for heinous crimes. The twenty-year sentence is at present recognised as life sentence.
Handing over the report, Justice Shrestha said there was urgent need to extend the life sentence till death, keeping in mind the seriousness of the crime and international practices. The panel, however, recommended against the practice of confiscating property of convicts in keeping with the principles of human rights. “We have taken this as an integral part of the modern criminal justice system,” Shrestha said while submitting the report to the prime minister at a function organised in the Prime Minister’s Office.
In relation to secondary serious crimes, the panel suggested 30-year sentence.
The Criminal Law Reform Taskforce also suggested against withdrawing cases related to serious offences and asked the government to abide by accepted principles while withdrawing state-party cases in order to control misuse of power derived from political links.
Compensation for victims, grace period of 90 days for the public while enforcing new Acts and appointment of a Prosecutor General are other provisions in the report.
“We have introduced a completely new system to modernise the criminal justice system,” former attorney general and a member of the panel Badri Bahadur Karki said.
Receiving the report, Prime Minister Nepal said the punishment system must be effective in order to secure people’s right to life. The PM also expressed dissatisfaction with growing impunity. “I want criminals’ heads down and justice for victims,” he said, adding, “Whoever s/he is the criminal must be punished.”
Stating that systems in European countries and in the US may not be applicable in Nepal, the PM recommended selection of a relevant system and its implementation.
The PM also called the judiciary to help state organs work together. “There must be coordination and cooperation between state organs although they may exercise authority independently,” he added.
• Life sentence until death
• 30-year life term for secondary serious crime
• Alternative provision for petty sentence
• Open prison concept
• Compensation for victims
• Regular monitoring of criminal laws