Lawmakers suggest amendment to 16 fundamental rights bills

Kathmandu, October 8

Within a month, 16 fundamental rights related bills came as laws, lawmakers of the Parliament’s, upper and lower houses have suggested that the government prepare the required amendments for those laws.

Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Binda Pandey, main opposition Nepali Congress lawmaker Radheshyam Adhakari, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker and Chair of Public Hearing Committee Laxman Lal Karna and Rastriya Janamorcha Party lawmaker Durga Paudel criticised the fast-track process of the Parliament that endrosed the bills.

Among the 16 bills, 12 were from the House of Representatives and the remaining four bills had come from the National Assembly.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had approved the 16 bills on September 19, which was the last day for coming up with the laws, according to the constitution.

NCP Lawmaker Pandey said there was too much haste to pass the bills in the fast-track process, which meant that lawmakers couldn’t read, analyse and give proper feedback on the bills.

“Without discussion with experts and other related field people how could it be a proper legal document,” a lawmaker from the House of Representatives said, adding, we should prepare for amendment after discussion with experts. She said in the next Session of House there should be amendment on related issues.

Lawmaker from the NA, Adhikari, said they didn’t have any time to look at those 12 bills sent by the HoR. “We even couldn’t turn the pages of the bills. It was totally wrong to do this without proper discussion,” he said, adding, the government should form a panel to study these bills and come up with proper suggestion for amendments.

Karna, who is a member of the HoR, said the government had bought the bills late. “So, we didn’t have time to discuss properly,” he added. He said the bills which came as a law had lots of problems with their content. “All the bills were based on the centre. They should have been focused on provinces and local levels. But we couldn’t find this in the bills,” he said, adding, there should be amendment as soon as possible.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Co-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the main opposition Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba had reached agreement on fast-tracking the passage of bills related to fundamental rights so that the constitutional deadline was not breached. The federal Parliament had then endorsed the bills related to fundamental rights through the fast-track process to meet the constitutional deadline. So the bills were passed without proper discussion.

Lawmaker from the HoR Paudel said the process of endorsing the bills were not democratic. “There should be more discussion with people and experts. But the bills were directly passed eliminating the regular process. Seventy-two hours amendment time had been reduced to seven hours,” she said. She suggested that the government study the bills carefully after talking with experts and other people and prepare the amendment process. She added, “Otherwise there could be problem while implementing them.”