Kathmandu, January 31
A person convicted of murder can be sentenced for life or up to 30 years in jail depending on the degree of their crime if the Parliament endorses the proposed bill on penal code that is under consideration.
A murder convict will have to remain in jail until s/he dies if s/he is convicted of killing in a cruel manner, killing after hijacking a plane or explosion in plane, killing after kidnapping or taking a person hostage, killing by inducting poison in publicly available drink or food items, genocide or ethnic cleansing or killing after rape.
Other murder convicts can be sentenced up to 30 years in jail. As per the existing laws, a person can be sentenced to up to 20 years for murder.
The quantum of sentence needs to be increased to control serious types of crimes and make the criminal judicial system more effective and compatible with international laws, said lawmakers and legal experts at a seminar organised by the legislation committee of the Parliament today.
“The increase in the jail term and other new provisions have been proposed to bring all kinds of crimes under the purview of criminal justice system in an effective way,” said CPN-UML lawmaker and advocate Krishna Bhakta Pokharel.
The bill brought to replace decades-old Muluki Ain has provisioned nine types of crimes that cannot be pardoned by President on the recommendation of the government.
They include issues relating to corruption, rape and attempt to rape, murder and attempt to murder, arms and ammunition, explosive materials, kidnapping and taking hostage, national and public heritage, forest and wild life and narcotic drugs.
“The proposed bill has also made sufficient provisions to bring a criminal who committed crime against a Nepali citizen in foreign country under the purview of punishment by using extradition law or other diplomatic channels,” said lawmaker and senior advocate Laxman Lal Karna.
If an absconding person does not present himself/herself voluntarily before the police even 30 days after arrest warrant is issued against him/her, s/he will automatically be suspended from any public position and the person’s property and other financial transactions would be withheld, according to the proposed law.
Unified CPN-Maoist lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said the new provisions were meant to curb crime and make the provisions compatible with international criminal justice system.
Ganga Chaudhari (Satgauwa), chairperson of the legislation committee, said the panel was working to finalise the bill by mid-June after deliberation and collection of suggestions from across the country.
Parliament secretariat secretary Mukunda Sharma said the bill needed to be tweaked. Kenza Aqertit, Resident Country Director of National Democratic Institute, said the provisions in the bill were directly related to the daily life of people.
A version of this article appears in print on February 01, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.