PIL against PR-barring law for civil servants

Kathmandu, August 4

A public interest litigation was filed at the Supreme Court today challenging the newly enacted Civil Service (Fourth Amendment) Act which prohibits civil servants from acquiring foreign permanent residency through diversity visa or any other means.

A writ of mandamus was filed by Kapilvastu resident Raksha Ram Harijan against the Ministry of General Administration, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Chief Secretary, Parliament Secretariat and Office of the President.

The petitioner has argued that the newly enacted law had retroactive effect as its provisions aimed at prohibiting civil servants from holding foreign permanent residency cards which was not restricted in the past.

The petitioner has argued that the newly enacted Civil Service Act will affect civil servant’s marital relations and right to work as it states that PR holding civil servants will be sacked if they do not renounce foreign permanent residency within the specified time.This means they will also not get any gratuity. The petitioner said if PR holding civil servants had to renounce their foreign permanent residency cards, they might not be able to meet their spouses living abroad.

The petitioner argued that the new law was against the principle of estoppel. Harijan said that the new law should not ask civil servants who joined the civil service before the enactment of this law to give up their foreign permanent residency status.

The petitioner added that as per Section 58 of the Civil Service Act, 1993, the government could not change any terms and conditions of civil servants without their prior approval.

He argued that DV and PR holding civil servants should not be deemed dual citizenship holders.