CJ for amending Muluki Ain

Kathmandu, August 17:

Supreme Court Justice Anup Raj Sharma today urged the government to amend the Civil Code (Muluki Ain) of 1963 in accordance with time in order to protect the rights of women, Dalit and Janajatis.

Sharma, referring to amendments made by parliament as per directives of the Supreme Court, said there remain some provisions in the Civil Code, which need amendment. “There are a number of provisions which should made be compatible with international human rights conventions signed by the government,” he added. Sharma was speaking at a programme on Civil Code and Human Rights organised by the Human Rights and Peoples’ Concern Committee of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) to mark the 42nd Civil Code day. Sharma said that though a Civil Code had been promulgated to reform society, it was not a progressive step.

“If we cannot amend Acts and Constitutions as and when the need arises, such acts and provisions have no meaning,” Sharma added. He also said that if women, Dalits and Janajatis are ready to a launch movement there would be no alternative for the government but to amend the provisions.

Sharma, who recently allowed FM radios to broadcast news, said the apex court judges would not hesitate to allow people to exercise their rights. “I assure you the Supreme Court will not compromise on human rights issues,” he added.

NBA President Shambhu Thapa said that though the 1963 Code was a step towards reform of society, some amendments were still needed. The chairman of the Indigenous Nationalities Federation of Nepal, Dr Om Gurung, however, described the 1963 Act as biased against non-Hindus. “This is an Act aimed at suppressing people who are not Hindus,” he asserted.

Vice-chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, Ram Prit Paswan, also claimed the code was promulgated to establish a Panchyati autocracy.

Chairman of the Committee, Bishwa Kanta Mainali, claimed that though the Code was

promulgated on the basis of Hindu philosophy, it was a step towards reform in society even in such an undemocratic period when the Panchayati regime was introduced by Late King Mahendra.