Parliament passes criminal offences bill

Punishment for offenders from higher social strata will be more severe

Kathmandu, August 10

The Parliament today passed Criminal Offences (Punishment Determination and Implementation) Bill which contains the provisions of   parole and probation for the first time in Nepal’s criminal justice system.

The House was supposed to pass the bill yesterday, but failed to do so due to lack of quorum.

Minister for Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Yagya Bahadur Thapa had presented a proposal in the House seeking passage of the bill.

Lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari, a member of the parliamentary sub-committee that finalised the bill,  said Nepal was the first country in South Asia to pass such a bill. He added that it is a new exercise designed to control crime and introduce corrective measures.

According to Bidari, the court will conduct hearing on the quantum of punishment within a month after the crime is determined. Judges will analyse the offender’s age, his/her financial and social status, situation in which the crime was committed and the mental status of offenders, among other things, before announcing punishment.

Punishment would be comparatively severe for offenders from higher social strata. Offenders who are sentenced to jail for one year or less can be paroled or put on probation.

Bidari said the government would have to form a Parole Board to implement the new law, which would come into effect from August 17 next year.

Minister Thapa also tabled the bill related to pay and perks of the president and vice-president in today’s House meeting. The proposal was unanimously endorsed.

Minister for Commerce Min Bahadur Bishwakarma tabled Direct Sales of Commodities (Management and Regulation) Bill in the House.

The House meeting also endorsed the proposal to send anti-caste discrimination (first amendment bill) to the concerned committee for clause-wise deliberation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Bijay Kumar Gachhadar had tabled the proposal.

The meeting also passed the proposal of Minister for Finance Gyanandra Bahadur Karki to send Audit Bill-2016 to the concerned committee for clause-wise discussion.

Likewise, Chair of the International Relations and Labour Committee of the Parliament Juth Bahadur Tuhure Khadgi tabled the committee’s report on labour bill at the House meeting.

Meanwhile, lawmakers who spoke during Zero Hour and Special Hour drew the government’s attention to contemporary issues.

Lawmaker Agni Prasad Sapkota and Jagadish Narsingh KC drew the government’s attention to Dr Govinda KC’s ongoing fast unto death. They asked the government to address Dr KC’s genuine demands. The House meeting will resume at 11:00am tomorrow.