Panel directs govt to fill NHRC posts

Kathmandu, July 30:

The Human Rights and Social Justice Committee (HRSJC) constituted by the parliament dispatched a letter to the government today directing the latter to immediately appoint National Human Rights Commission chairman and commissioners.

The posts of NHRC chairman and commissioners have been lying vacant for the last one year owing to the “failure” on part of the government to “convince” eligible candidates to take up the posts.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had last month approached former chief justice Biswanath Upadhyaya for the NHRC top post. Upadhyaya had, however, turned down Koirala’s proposal saying he would be ready to accept the offer only if he would be allowed to pick non-political commissioners. “I am not interested,” Upadhyaya had said then.

PM Koirala’s efforts to convince another former CJ Kedar Nath Upadhyaya also failed. He was against political appointments of other commissioners. “We’ll soon meet the PM to take up the issue of appointing NHRC commissioners,” Nepali Congress (NC) leader and a member of the parliamentary committee, Kamala Pant told this daily today.

Speaker Subas Nembang and the leaders of political parties had assured the NHRC officials on May 24 and 25 that they would take the initiative for the appointment.

Bimal Babu Khatri of NHRC told this daily that leading human rights organisations have been carrying out protests programmes to pressure the government to appoint NHRC officials. Meanwhile, the Nepal Civil Servants Union and Nepal Civil Servants Organisation today condemned the Dolakha incident.

Issuing a joint statement today, they flayed the attack on CDO Thapa by the YCL cadres. They have decided to organise a one-hour (10:30-11:30 am) gherao programme at the CPN-Maoist Parliamentary Party office in Singha Durbar tomorrow morning and have warned of further protests if the YCL does not apologise in public.