SC issues show-cause order in case concerning Regulation of Foreign Employment Agents

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court of Nepal on Thursday issued a show-cause order regarding the regulation of agents deployed by the licensee organisations (manpower companies), and decentralisation of complaint hearing and investigating authority of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) at the local level to bring the unscrupulous agents under the custody of law, according to a press release issued by Law and Policy Forum for Social Justice (LAPSOJ).

The order was issued in the name of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) and other concerned ministries, including DoFE and Foreign Employment Promotion Board.

The statement reads that a single bench of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli issued the notice seeking reason behind lack of proper policy to regulate the agents at local and community levels, the ignorance of jurisdiction of local police to file the complaints against the agents, the impunity enjoyed by the agents despite their false promises and fraudulent activities, the centralised judicial structure of DoFE jeopardising the access to justice of victims, and legality of unregistered agents among others.

It further says that on February 20, LAPSOJ registered a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the apex court to provide jurisdiction to the local police by annexing the foreign employment related cases in Annex 1 of the State Cases Act, decentralise or delegate the power of the Department to receive the complaints and investigate the cases against the agents by the agency like District Labour Offices, and to establish a mandatory mechanism of submitting the appointment letters of all registered agents along with their personal details and progress report of the works of the individual agents appointed by the said manpower companies.

Advocates Hari Phuyal, Barun Ghimire and Anurag Devkota appeared before the Supreme Court in today’s preliminary hearing.