By-laws come under parliament committee scrutiny

Published On: July 23, 2019 07:04 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

KATHMANDU, July 23: The Delegated Legislation and Government Assurances Committee of the National Assembly have started scrutinizing the by-laws promulgated by various ministries and the eight constitutional bodies. 

The upper house committee on April 1 called on the federal ministries and constitutional bodies to submit all the regulations, directives and guidelines promulgated by them. Committee Chairperson Ram Narayan Bidari said on Monday that the by-laws had been submitted after a follow-up letter from the committee secretariat. 

Earlier, only two ministries had furnished the documents when the committee wrote to them demanding all that they had promulgated under their delegated legislation powers.

The parliamentary committee has so far studied documents received from five ministries including Agriculture, Energy, Finance, Physical Infrastructure and Home, said Bidari. 

“Most of the ministries we scrutinized were found to be promulgating by-laws or regulations without complying with the mother laws, citing unrelated laws, and exceeding their delegated powers,” he said. 

A subordinate law should not contradict the parent law, impose fines or sentences or create new posts in any public office, it is stated.

The parliamentary committee has the authority to direct the ministry or constitutional body concerned to scrap any by-law that is in breach of the principle of delegated legislation. 
Rule 153 of the National Assembly regulations entrusts the committee with carrying out post-legislative scrutiny and seeking the amendment or scrapping of any by-law or directive not in compliance with the constitution or existing laws. 

The committee has also directed the Nepal Telecommunications Authority and Nepal Medical Council to furnish their internal by-laws, but these have not complied so far.

Simultaneously, the upper house committee has started studying whether or not any commitment made by Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa in parliament had been fulfilled. “If any commitment is found not to have been met, the committee will warn and direct the minister concerned to meet it,” said Bidari.

According to the committee secretariat, they plan to ask Home Minister Thapa whether or not the 10 commitments he has made before parliament have been implemented. 

The committee is scheduled to ask whether the home minister’s commitments to launch an awareness campaign against the chhaupadi practice, enact legislation to outlaw the banishing of women during menstruation, and book the culprit in the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur have been implemented. 

Similarly, the committee is set to question the minister about his commitment to find the killer of former ambassador Keshav Jha and those involved in the attack on lawmaker Niru Devi Pal and a rural municipality chief in Okhaldhunga, among others.

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