Govt to table Bill on cases of the missing

Plan to introduce Bill to amend Civil Code Act dropped

Kathmandu, November 27:

The government has agreed to withdraw a Bill aimed at amending the Civil Code Act 1963 and to introduce a Bill in parliament within ten days to deal with cases of disappearance.

Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula today told the the Parliamentary Committee on Law, Justice and Legislature that the government will come up with a Bill to make a special law on disappearance and shelve the plan to introduce a Bill to amend the Civil Code to deal with disappearance cases. Sitaula’s assurance came after the committee’s directives to the government for the same.

The government was under immense pressure from the lawmakers, especially from the CPN-Maoist, to come up with a separate law to ensure that no perpetrators of disappearances are spared.

The committee also directed the government to promulgate the act in line with the International Convention for Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearances and other international laws.

Maoist lawmakers had yesterday asked the government to drop the idea of pushing an amendment proposal to deal with disappearance cases.

“Now, the government will have to bring a special law to deal with cases on disappearances,” Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Bhakta Bahadur Balayar, who is also a member of the committee, told this daily.

The committee had asked the government to withdraw the idea of amending the Muluki Ain (Civil Code Act 1963) to deal with the cases of disappearance. It should be noted that the Supreme Court had, on June 1, directed the government to come up with a strong law to deal with cases of disappearance.

Sitaula today seemed affirmative on bringing new law on disappearance, which he said are political. However, he said the instances of abduction are criminal offence and they need to be dealt with accordingly.

The parliamentary committee also formed a three-member sub-committee of lawmakers Harihar Dahal (NC), Khim Lal Devkota (CPN-M) and Dharmanath Prasad Shah (UML) to discuss procedures to include provision in the Muluki Ain to deal with cases of abduction.

The sub-committee will meet tomorrow morning to finalise the Bill to deal with cases of abduction. “The same will be presented at the Parliament, most probably on Thursday for endorsement,” Balayar added.

Lawmakers emphasised on the need of a law to deal with cases of abduction in the backdrop of growing cases of kidnapping across the country.

The government had tabled a proposal for the 12th amendment to the Civil Code Act on Monday at the parliamentary committee for discussion.