Kathmandu, January 21
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has requested the government to revert to the earlier order of precedence of commissioners of constitutional bodies and their members.
The government had recently determined the order of precedence of individuals involved in different areas of national interest to define the hierarchy of functionaries and officials. The government’s decision has received flak from various government bodies.
A meeting of the CIAA today concluded that officials who should attend certain meetings are higher in rank to the office-bearers of constitutional bodies who should chair those meetings. The order of precedence of office-bearers of constitutional bodies are also much lower than the existing order. This anomaly can create difficulty in work execution and even violates minimum procedures to be followed in seminars and meetings.
Issuing a press release CIAA also stated, “Such scenario will affect the morale of affected office-bearers. The government should follow tradition, law of the land, work execution, work executed by the post, and its dignity. So, it is requested that the government maintain the order of precedence of commissioners of constitutional bodies and their members as it was earlier, which is exactly next to constitutional heads.” It also states that keeping office-bearers of constitutional bodies much below would not only undermine constitutional posts but also tarnish the institutional image and recognition of constitutional bodies.
Earlier, the Election Commission had also urged the government to amend the hierarchy of positions in a way to keep the order of office-bearers of constitutional bodies immediately below the chiefs of the respective bodies. The government was suggested to take into consideration the criteria of appointment process, role and scope of work of constitutional bodies in the federal structure, international practice, tradition and existing laws, while determining the order of precedence.
National Human Rights Commission had also drawn the attention of the government regarding the new order of precedence. As per the new protocol list, vice-chairperson of the National Planning Commission ranks higher than apex court justice and chiefs of NHRC and CIAA.
A version of this article appears in print on January 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.