SC directs govt to promulgate Act for refugees

Kathmandu, November 25:

Making public the full text judgment on the detention of four Pakistani citizens, the Supreme Court today directed the government to promulgate an Act for refugees.

“The government should promulgate an Act in this regard,” the full text of the judgment states. Though the verdict was pronounced on September 24, the division bench of judges Sharada Prasad Pundit and Bala Ram KC made public the judgment today.

The bench states that the apex court cannot intervene in the executive domain directing whether or not sign any international treaty on refugees. Following detention, Pakistani nationals Usman Javed, Kaishif Mehomood, Mehmood Rasid and Memhood Rasid had moved the apex court, claiming that their rights as asylum-seekers were violated after the government authority took them into custody.

The apex court also directed the government and the Department of Immigration to review 10-year imprisonment it slapped on them on the charge of staying in Nepal without permission. It also directed the government not to deport the four Pakistanis not to deport them to Pakistan, where their lives are in threat.

The bench, however, states that the refugees do not have the right to violate the law of the country, where they are staying as refugees.

As their lives were under threat in Pakistan, the four visited Nepal with Pakistani passports in 2005. Advocates Hari Phuyal, Prakash Mani Sharma and Basanta Prakash Adhikari had pleaded on their behalf in the apex court.