Kathmandu, February 11
The newly registered civil servants bill proposes to prohibit civil servants from taking part in protests, strikes, sit-ins, programmes aimed at exerting pressure on the government, pen-down strike or hunger strike or inciting others to start hunger strike against the government.
This is a more restrictive provision compared to provisions of the Civil Service Act.
The Civil Service Act bars civil servants from taking part in an agitation or a strike or enticing anyone to perform such acts in a manner that undermine the sovereignty and integrity of Nepal, law and order, external relations and public decency, insult court, create hatred among castes, tribes, religions, classes, regions and communities or aid and abet any crime.
Chairperson of Nepal Civil Service Employees’ Association Punya Prasad Dhakal said the bill’s provision that prohibits civil servants from resorting to strikes, agitation and sit-ins were against their trade union rights. “Sometimes when government bodies enter into agreements with trade unions but refuse to implement them, there is no option but to resort to pressure tactics,” Dhakal said.
The bill also proposes to bar civil servants from sharing classified information or documents directly or indirectly with any unauthorised employee, individual or media outlet. This restriction will also apply to retired civil servants.
When asked if the provision was in consonance with the right to information laws, Information Commissioner Kiran Pokharel said RTI Act bars public officials from releasing information related to national sovereignty, national security, criminal investigation and information that could create communal discord and disastrous consequence for the national economy.
The bill proposes that civil servants who join any political party or political organisation, indulge in political activities or contest election should be sacked but not rendered ineligible for government jobs in the future.
A version of this article appears in print on February 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.