Nepal | March 29, 2020

Sons, daughters to have equal rights in parental property

Will system dropped from final bill

Ram Kumar Kamat

Kathmandu, September 25

The Parliament today passed the Civil Code Bill and the Civil Procedure Code Bill heralding sweeping reforms in the country’s civil law, including equal property rights for sons and daughters.

The two bills will come into force on August 17, 2018.

The Civil Code Bill, however, was passed without the provision of will system, which had been okayed by the Legislation Committee of the Parliament but was dropped at the eleventh hour, as top leaders of the three major parties — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC — agreed to do so after women activists successfully lobbied for the same.

Chair of Legislation Committee Ganga Chaudhary (Satgaunwa) today presented a supplementary report on the two bills, dropping the provisions relating to will system.

The bill also addresses concerns of women rights activists by amending the original content on the rights of a divorcee. The original bill states that if a divorcee remarries then she has to give the alimony to her sons or daughters and if she does not have a child, then she has to return the alimony to her former husband.

The final content of the bill that was passed by the House today gives a divorcee the right to use the property she received from her former husband even if she remarries, said Legislation Committee member Radhe Shyam Adhikari.

According to the amendment, if a divorcee dies then her property will be given to her children; in case she has no children, the property received from her former husband will be returned to the same person and other property to her former maternal family.

The Civil Code Bill and the Civil Procedure Code Bill will replace the general code. A few days ago the Parliament had passed the Penal Code Bill and Criminal Procedure Code Bill.


Civil Code Bill

  • It allows women the right to use her father’s surname, the surname of her mother or husband or both surnames
  • It has a provision for court appointed curator for a child who has no guardian to take his/her care
  • It has a provision for usufruct, whereby a person can give his/her property to somebody who can use it as his/her own property but cannot change the substance of the property without the consent of the owner of the property
  • It incorporates provisions of unjust enrichment. The question of unjust enrichment arises when a person unfairly gets a benefit by chance, mistake or other such causes for which the person enriched has not paid or worked. The beneficiary should return such money or benefits to the person who deserves it. According to the bill, a person will be held responsible if due to omission, commission or recklessness another person suffers harm or loss. For example, the owner of an animal will be held responsible if the animal inflicts harm to others

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A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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