New bill lets federal government lord over provincial police

Kathmandu, January 14

The federal home ministry has registered a new bill to govern the process of operation, supervision and coordination of Nepal Police and provincial police, proposing that the federal government will deploy provincial police chiefs in all the provinces. The bill registered in the House of Representatives also stipulates that Nepal Police will grant approval to provincial police to procure arms and ammunition.

The bill adds that CDOs can deploy provincial police to maintain law and order in districts and provincial police will have to obey their directives. The bill stipulates that NP will supervise compliance of the order issued by the Government of Nepal, NP and CDOs to provincial police. Police deployed in districts will be under the CDOs’ command.

The bill states that in the beginning, the provincial police will be created out of NP personnel who choose to be adjusted in provincial police. The bill states that at the outset the operation of provincial police will be as determined by the federal government.

It proposes that the recruitment of provincial police, filling of vacancies, examination syllabus and criteria related to examination will be determined by federal laws. Even the uniform of provincial police will be determined by the Government of Nepal.

In addition to controlling and probing crime, carrying out a rescue operation in times of disaster and emergency and assisting NP in criminal probe, the provincial police chief will also have to manage traffic in the province.

The bill, however, has not gone down well with provincial office bearers.

Province 3 Minister of Internal Affairs and Law Shalikram Jamkattel said the bill’s proposal to give powers to CDOs to control police in districts was wrong. “Police in districts should be under provincial police’s command and control, with the provincial government appointing provincial police chief,” Jamkattel said. “Such proposals create conflict between the federal and provincial government, as provincial governments have to exercise their powers to deliver services to the public,” he added.

Province 2 Advocate General Dipendra Jha said, “The provincial government should form provincial police. Nepal Police or the centre cannot send the provincial police chief or decide provincial police’s uniform. Doing so will be a violation of the constitution,” he said.