Maoists press govt to drop plan on Civil Code

Kathmandu, November 26:

The government has come under pressure from the CPN-Maoist to drop the idea of pushing an amendment proposal, which says more teeth should be given to the Civil Code Act 1963 (Muluki Ain) to deal with cases of abduction and disappearance.

Maoist lawmakers in the parliamentary Law, Justice and Legislature-Parliament Committee suggested today that it will be better to make a “special law” to deal with cases of disappearance.

This has been suggested in view of the “seriousness” of the issue. CPN-UML members of the committee have backed the CPN-Maoist.

The Supreme Court (SC) had, on June 1, directed the government to come up with a strong law to deal with growing instances of disappearance.

Maoist lawmaker Dinanath Sharma stressed the need to make a “special law” on disappearances, saying that amendments to the Civil Code Act will not be enough to deal with cases of disappearance. Sharma demanded that the government “take back” the amendment proposal.

The government had tabled a proposal for the 12th amendment to the Act for discussion at the parliamentary committee today. “We are hopeful that a decision on whether to amend or

come up with a special law on the issue will be made by tomorrow,” lawmaker Bhakta Bahadur Balayar told this daily.

Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula told committee members that the government will think about coming up with a new Bill on disappearances if the committee gives directives to this effect to the government.

Sitaula said that while the amendment to the Act can help curb abductions, a separate act should be promulgated to deal with disappearances.

However, the committee members were divided on whether to come up with a new law to deal with abductions or make suitable amendments to the Muluki Ain to address the issue.

A lawmaker said the parliamentary committee might send back both the amendment proposals to the government to work out a new law on kidnapping and disappearances.