KATHMANDU, Aug 26: A new bill to amend the existing Caste Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act 2011 has proposed doubling the compensation for the victims of untouchability and increasing the punishment for offenders.
The existing law ratified seven years ago has provisioned a maximum compensation of Rs 100,000 for a victim of caste-based discrimination. The amendment bill proposes a maximum compensation of Rs 200,000, besides the jail term and fine for the offender.
The amendment bill also doubles the one-year jail sentence to two years and imposes fines for barring entry into the house because of untouchability, expulsion from home, ostracization, obstruction of inter-caste marriages, and distribution of articles or multimedia products promoting or legitimizing untouchability and discrimination.
The bill bars the production and publication of any article, cartoon or multimedia content portraying untouchability as just.
The jail sentence is proposed to be brought into correspondence with provisions in the recently enacted Criminal Code. But the provision on fine is at variance with the newly enacted Muluki Criminal Code. The Criminal Code has provisioned a maximum Rs 30,000 fine under section 166.
Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit registered the amendment bill at the parliament secretariat on Friday, in a bid to revise the existing laws on untouchability and safeguard the fundamental right against discrimination and untouchability.