Nepal | October 20, 2019

Fundamental rights-related bills passed

Rewati Sapkota

Kathmandu, September 16

As the deadline for passing the bills related to enjoyment of fundamental rights draws closer, the National Assembly today passed 11 bills through fast-track method and the House of Representatives passed two bills, depriving lawmakers of their chance to adequately debate the bills.

The Upper House has already passed four other bills related to enjoyment of fundamental rights and the House of Representatives has endorsed them. There are 15 bills related to enjoyment of fundamental rights that needs to be passed by September 18 as per the constitutional deadline.

“The federal parliament has endorsed bills related fundamental rights through fast-track process to meet the constitutional deadline,” federal Parliament Secretary Bharat Raj Gautam told The Himalayan Times. Both houses had suspended parliamentary rules to fast-track the passage of the bills.

Four bills that originated in the Upper House will be signed by the Chairman of the Upper House Ganesh Timilsena and 11 bills that originated in the Lower House will be signed by Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara by Tuesday morning before being sent to the Office of the President for authentication.

A source at the Parliament Secretariat said that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, C-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and main opposition Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba had reached an agreement to
fast-track the passage of
the bills related to fundamental rights so that the constitutional deadline was not breached. The source said that they would amend these laws if any shortcomings were found later.

Rights guaranteed thru law so far

  • Right to social security
  • Right to land
  • Right to free and compulsory education
  • Right to employment
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to food
  • Right to shelter
  • Right to health
  • Right to consumer protection
  • Right against discrimination and untouchability
  • Right to safe maternity and fertility
  • Right of people with
    disabilities
  • Right to environment
    protection
  • Right to crime victims’
    protection
  • Right of children

MPs cast doubt over implementation

KATHMANDU: Some lawmakers said they doubted that the bills that were passed without adequate debate on their contents would be implemented.

“We framed the constitution in a hurry and we are passing these crucial bills in a hurry,” said independent lawmaker Hridayesh Tripathi, who contested election on NCP (NCP)’s ticket.  He said the state lacked the resources to fulfil the promises in these bills, and therefore, there was a question whether these laws would be implemented. “People may move the court to claim their rights as per the laws. Media will report it and we will read the status of implementation of the laws,” he said.

NC lawmaker Sita Devi Yadav said she did not have a chance to read the contents of the bills as the process to pass the bills was short. “I do not believe that those laws will be implemented properly. The government has not reflected people’s voice in these bills,” she said.

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Chanda Chaudhary said she did not believe that even five to 10 per cent of the bills’ contents would be implemented.


A version of this article appears in print on September 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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