Final IRC working procedures today

Kathmandu, October 24

The sub-committee of the Impeachment Recommendation Committee discussed the contents of the parliamentary panel’s working procedures and reached a tentative agreement that the IRC’s decisions would be majority-based.

The 11-member IRC has four members each from the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and two from the CPN-MC and one from RPP-N.

CPN-MC lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari, coordinator of the IRC sub-committee, told THT that its next meeting tomorrow would finalise the contents of the working procedures.

Bidari said members of the sub-committee discussed the draft of the IRC’s working procedures related to investigation, which had not been addressed by the constitution and parliamentary regulations.

Under the current constitutional and legal provisions, IRC will act in two ways: when the Parliament sends it an impeachment motion; and when an ordinary citizen lodges complaint of impeachment against any constitutional post holder with the endorsement of three lawmakers.

According to Bidari, the working procedures the subcommittee is drafting will address the following questions: how to identify the endorsers, the duration in which the IRC should conduct its probe, who will scrutinise the evidences to identify the endorsers and who will declare that prima facie the complaints are based on merits/evidences or lack them.

He said the working procedures will also incorporate provisions related to note of dissent that IRC members may write on the impeachment motion, besides incorporating provisions related to majority-backed issues.

Bidari said the IRC was a permanent body and not like other parliamentary panels. “Ours is a permanent body, which can decide to forward or not forward an impeachment motion to the Parliament,” he said.

Bidari said if any complaint related to impeachment was deemed as lacking merit/evidence, it could put the complaint on hold.

Another member of the sub-committee Dilnath Giri said they were trying to incorporate provisions that would help the panel determine whether impeachment motions or complaints were based on merit/evidence before being sent to the Parliament.

As per the current provision, when an ordinary person files a complaint related to impeachment against constitutional post holders, the IRC will probe and recommend to the Parliament if it finds that the complaint has merits and when one-fourth of Parliament members endorse such recommendation of the IRC, then it is treated as an impeachment motion, which is again sent to the IRC for investigation.

As per the current provision, one-fourth members of the Parliament can directly register an impeachment motion at the Parliament and when it is sent to the IRC for investigation, the Parliamentary panel launches its probe.

Recently, 157 lawmakers had moved an impeachment motion against Chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lok Man Singh Karki.

The draft of the working procedures will be presented to the IRC on Wednesday which will finally adopt the procedures.