Leaders discuss draft with constitutional bodies
KATHMANDU, July 29
Top leaders of the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic on Wednesday met chiefs of constitutional bodies to inquire about their concerns on the draft constitution.
According to UCPN-M leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, chiefs of the constitutional bodies — National Human Rights Commission, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Public Service Commission, Election Commission — and Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha told the leaders of the four parties that the clause of the draft constitution that stated that the performance of the office bearers of the constitutional bodies would be evaluated and monitored by the Parliamentary committees should be removed.
Chief Justice Shrestha told the parties that the provision of constitutional court should be removed and a constitutional bench should be established in the Supreme Court instead. He also said that the SC should have the authority to transfer money from consolidated fund and investigation of corruption irregularities against judges should be conducted under a body within the judiciary and not by the CIAA.
According to UCPN-M leader Shrestha, Public Service Commission Chief Umesh Mainali told the leaders that there should be uniformed principles for the state PSCs and those principles should be mentioned in the constitution.
Acting Chief Election Commissioner Doalakh Bahadur Gurung told the leaders that the date of the general election should be mentioned in the constitution and if it could not be done so, the Election Commission should have the power to declare the election date after consulting the government, according to Shrestha.
Gurung also told the leaders that the parties should strictly follow the names of the PR lists in order and should not pick the names randomly.
The Election Commission also demanded that threshold for political parties be fixed.
According to CIAA Spokesperson Krishnahari Pushkar, CIAA Chief Lok Man Singh Karki told the leaders that while the Interim Constitution had provisioned that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority could investigate into cases of corruption and inappropriate acts that involve a person holding a public position, the draft only mentioned ‘corruption’ and had dropped ‘improper conduct.’
“In Nepal 80 per cent cases involve improper conducts. In other countries improper conducts are also defined as corruption,” Pushkar said.
According to Pushkar, Karki also told the leaders that no additional provision of parliamentary oversight on the anti-corruption body was required as under the existing laws there were enough provisions that could ensure checks and balances against the CIAA to ensure its accountability.
Pushkar said Karki also said that reappointment of the office bearers of the constitutional bodies was against the norms and practice
UCPN-M leader Shrestha said the four parties would discuss the contents of the draft constitution from tomorrow to see how they could address the concerns of the constitutional bodies.
The provision of constitutional court should be removed and a constitutional bench should be established in the Supreme Court instead
— Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha
There should be uniformed principles for the state Public Service Commissions and those principles should be mentioned in constitution
— PSC Chief Umesh Mainali
The date of general election should be mentioned in the constitution and if it cannot be done so, the EC should have the power to declare the date
— Acting CEC Doalakh Bahadur Gurung
No additional provision of parliamentary oversight on the anti-corruption body was required as under the existing laws there were enough provisions that could ensure checks and balances
— CIAA Chief Lok Man Singh Karki