Amendment bill registered to revise map

Kathmandu, May 22

The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs today registered a constitution amendment bill in the Parliament Secretariat to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to include Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in Nepal’s map.

Schedule 3 of the constitution deals with coat of arms of Nepal that features the country’s map.

The ministry registered the government bill after a meeting of the Cabinet held here today decided to register the constitution amendment bill to revise Nepal’s map. The move comes in the wake of the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation issuing a new political and administrative map incorporating Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani. India has political and administrative control over these areas and considers the three regions part of its territory.

Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe told THT that the government wanted the constitution to be amended through fast track process of incorporating Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in the map printed on the coat of arms of Nepal.

“Although it is for the Parliament to decide the process of amendment, the government wants schedule of the constitution to be amended soon through fast track process,” Tumbahangphe said. She added that the Parliament could amend regulations to amend the constitution through fast track process.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yubaraj Khatiwada told mediapersons that the government wanted to resolve the border row with India through diplomatic means and dialogue. He said the government would, on the basis of evidence, try to convince India that Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani were Nepali territories. He added that the government had no plan to internationalise the issue at this stage.

Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dhamala told THT that the constitution amendment bill would have to be passed by two-thirds majority of the existing members of the Parliament.

Dhamala said that the bill could be passed between 10 and 15 days as there was only one issue to debate. “But if the government wants to pass the bill through fast track process, then the government can discuss the issue with the speaker and Business Advisory Committee can decide about it,” he added.

The government also registered a bill to reinstate the provisions of the Constitutional Council Act and Political Party Act that the government had amended through two ordinances which it later rescinded after political leaders from within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and opposition parties flayed the government’s move.

Process of amending the bill

  • The bill will be presented to the House of Representatives after five days
  • A notification will be issued through media to inform the public about the constitution amendment bill
  • Lawmakers will be given 72 hours to register amendments to the bill
  • The House of Representatives will hold clause-wise discussion or can even form a special committee to discuss the bill
  • Voting will be held after completing the above process
  • The bill has to be passed with two-thirds majority
  • After the lower house passes the bill, it will be sent to the National Assembly
  • The Upper House will also follow a similar process to pass the constitution amendment bill

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.