KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 13
Accountability Watch Committee issued a press release saying the recent appointments in the National Human Rights Commission without parliamentary hearing, had served a blow to the image of the NHRC, which had hitherto maintained its credibility as an autonomous body.
"Recent appointments in the NHRC and other constitutional bodies have violated the Paris Principle and since these appointments have been challenged in the Supreme Court, we will not collaborate with these commissions until the SC delivers its verdicts on those cases," AWC said in its release.
AWC said it had issued a press release on January 12 urging the government to correct the mistakes it had made in the process of making appointments in constitutional bodies, but the government did not listen.
AWC also urged the United Nations and diplomatic missions based in Kathmandu not to give legitimacy to the recent appointments in constitutional bodies until the SC delivered its verdicts on the sub judice cases.
Executive Director of Freedom Forum Taranath Dahal said the government had violated checks and balance, a basic feature of democracy by making appointments in the constitutional bodies without conducting parliamentary and public hearing for the candidates.
Hence, civil society and the political forces should not accept these appointments.
"It is obvious that people who were appointed by the government in the constitutional bodies bypassing parliamentary hearing will be loyal to the prime minister, and they cannot work as constitutional watchdogs," he said and added that there was enough reason to suspect that the newly appointed Election Commissioner Ram Prasad Bhandari who was assigned to look into the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)'s authenticity issue could not do his job independently.
Human rights lawyer Mohan Kumar Karna said rights activists and organisations had genuine reason to be concerned about the recent appointments in the NHRC and other constitutional bodies as these appointments were made bypassing parliamentary hearing.
He said the appointments were unconstitutional as these appointments were made on the basis of an ordinance whose legality had been challenged in the SC. "Rights organisations cannot accept the validity of the recent appointments until the court delivers its verdicts on the sub judice cases," he argued.
Rights activist Nirajan Thapaliya also said the recent appointments made in the constitutional bodies bypassing parliamentary hearing would suffer the fate of two other commissions – Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons as neither domestic nor international stakeholders had trust in them.
"TRC and CIEDP have not been able to function because nobody trusts them. The constitutional bodies where the government made appointments recently will also suffer the same fate," he argued.
Rights activists are very certain that the National Human Rights Commission will not be able to do its job effectively as it lacks legality and validity
A version of this article appears in the print on February 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.