Experts criticize constitution for its ‘flaws’

August 13, 2018 07:53 AM Republica

KATHMANDU, Aug 13: Constitutional experts have criticized the constitution of Nepal, ahead of the third anniversary of its promulgation, while foreign constitutional experts and lawmakers have praised its key provisions.

Constitutional expert and former justice at the Supreme Court, Girish Chandra Lal and senior advocate Surendra Bhandari stressed the need for massive revisions in the charter, while taking part in a discussion on the constituent assemblies of the country. Some lawmakers involved in the drafting of the constitution defended it in the function organized in Kathmandu on Sunday. 

Former justice Lal claimed that the constitution was drafted by a handful of lawyers close to the major political parties and even the typist also made changes in it until its promulgation. He argued that no one was ready to take ownership of its draft. 

Constitutional expert Bhandari claimed that the Constituent Assembly was literally a failure because it promulgated the charter without proper deliberations and without settling the disputes. He also argued that federalism cannot sustain in the country. 

Leader of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Rajendra Shrestha claimed that the constitution has failed to envision a strong federal structure in the country. Accusing the major political forces of being against federalism, Shrestha said federalism was introduced in the charter as a result of the people’s movement.

Former diplomat Kul Chandra Gautam was of the view that despite many democratic and positive provisions, the constitution has flaws in terms of gender equality and citizen rights issue. 

In a separate session Indian constitutional expert Prashant Bhusan praised the inclusive provisions, human rights and anti-corruption watchdog mechanism, local empowerment in Nepal’s constitution. Comparing Nepal’s constitution with that of India, he also said that Nepal’s charter was progressive on ensuring rights to the marginalized people. 

Sri Lankan legal expert Mario Gomez and Bangladeshi human rights activist Hameeda Hossain also discussed various aspects of Nepal’s constitution. Constitutional Expert Bipin Adhikari claimed that around 90 percent of the people in Nepal have owned up the constitution. 

Various national and international experts discussed the rights issue, peace process, and constitutional bench among other issues on the second day of the three-day conference on Sunday.

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