Kathmandu October 27
Although the Parliament has only five months to remove provisions of various laws that contradict the constitution, various ministries have not sent their proposals to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliament Affairs yet.
As per the constitutional provision, laws that contradict the constitution should be amended within a year of the first meeting of the federal Parliament. The one-year deadline ends on March 5 next year.
According to Assistant Spokesperson for MoLJP Hum Bahadur KC, his ministry has not prepared the proposal to amend laws that contradict the constitution. “We will finalise a proposal only when we receive lists of contradictory laws from the respective ministries. We do not know yet how many laws should be amended and how many scrapped” KC told THT. He said respective ministries needed to know which issues under their jurisdiction had been covered by the schedules of the constitution, various laws, including laws related to fundamental rights, and what had to be done.
A preliminary study conducted in 2015 had stated that around 315 laws needed to be amended. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba said his party would not oppose efforts of the ruling parties to amend contradictory laws, but if the ruling parties wanted opposition parties’ help on other issues, that would largely depend on their policies vis-à-vis opposition parties. Deuba said this in response to journalists’ query at a reception held by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP)s.
The amendments should be passed through consensus between the ruling party Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal said the government had been working closely with opposition parties. “The government will prepare a proposal for amending the laws that contradict the constitution only after consulting opposition parties. Teams from the ruling and opposition parties will work on the issues,” Rimal told THT. He said the Parliament has already passed more than 50 laws to adjust with the new constitution and there was need to pass 50 more laws.
“We need to amend 13 laws immediately,” Rimal said. The Parliament had passed laws related to fundamental rights before September 18 — the constitutional deadline. NCP(NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the constitution would help the country move towards prosperity and socialism.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli could not attend the reception today as he was suffering from cold and chest infection, said NCP (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Poudel.
Former Prime Minister and Naya Shakti Party-Nepal Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai boycotted the ruling party’s reception, saying the money spent on thousands of participants should have been invested by the party that championed the cause of the proletariat for a good cause.
A disgruntled group came to venue with pamphlets telling the participants to boycott the programme, but the group was chased away by party cadres.
A version of this article appears in print on October 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.