National Assembly passes TRC bill

Kathmandu February 3

The government has pushed a bill related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons to meet the deadline. The tenure of the two commissions formed in February 2015 is expiring on February 9.

As per the discussion between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and main opposition Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba at Baluwatar, NC lawmakers did not oppose the bill in the House and the bill was passed unopposed in the National Assembly. The bill was fast-tracked and passed by suspending the NA regulation. NA held its meeting thrice today to pass the bill.

NC lawmaker Jitendra Narayan Dev and Badri Pandey participated in discussion in the NA focusing on the need to speed up transitional justice to give justice to victims.

After the bill was passed by the National Assembly, Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal presented bill in the House of Representatives with a message of the National Assembly attached. “We have now made a provision that the members’ tenure will be completed on April 13, but the commission’s tenure won’t be complete at that time. Earlier, the members and commission’s tenure had the same deadline,” Minister Dhakal said.

According to Minister Dhakal, the commission should follow the cases of 17,876 deaths, 1,500 disappearances, 9,000 injured and 80,000 displaced during conflict from 1996 to 2006. The government had decided to extend the tenure of members of the two transitional justice commissions till April 13, and the tenure of the commissions by a year with provision for an additional one-year extension on January 28.

Lawmakers from House of Representatives Shanti Pakhrin and Durga BK said the victims’ representative should be included in the commission. As per the new provision, if the tenure of the commission members expires or all the posts of members remain vacant, the commissions will still remain intact and the government can make new appointments through a Cabinet decision.

As per the existing act, members would continue to hold their posts till the tenure of the commissions, and the commissions would be scrapped if the posts remained vacant.