Apex court tells govt to help conflict-hit

Kathmandu, August 17:

The Supreme Court today made public the text of its verdict which orders the government and political parties to provide relief to the conflict victims.

A division bench of Justices Bala Ram KC and Tahir Ali Ansari had directed the government authorities — the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet (Home, Defence, Finance, Foreign, Local Development, and Peace and Reconstruction ministries), parliament and political parties — to work in this regard.

The full text states that the real owners must get back the seized property. The apex court directed the government not to escape from its responsibility. The court said it would not remain silent if the government did not act responsibly.

The bench advised authorities to conduct a study within six months. Stating that though the principle of state and directive principles were not enforceable by a court of law, the bench stated that a harmonious interpretation was required.

Seeking the apex court intervention, conflict victims, including the chairman of Maoist Victims’ National Struggle Committee, Bhojraj Timilsena, and members of the committee had moved the apex court last year. They have claimed that although the Interim Constitution of Nepal guaranteed the rights to property, the Maoist victims have lost this right. This has led to violation of other rights such as the right to education, they said.

According to an estimate, at least 60,000 people were displaced and more than

6,000 people were killed by Maoists after the start of the People’s War.