Home Minister Shrestha prepares to form a commission to solve problems of loan sharking victims

Published On: April 1, 2023 01:30 PM NPT By: Arun Bam

KATHMANDU, April 1: Newly appointed Home Minister Narayankaji Shrestha is preparing to form a 'high-level investigation commission with powers' to solve the problems of loan shark victims. Earlier, Shrestha, who was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, became Home Minister along with Deputy Prime Minister when the cabinet was reshuffled on Friday. Shrestha approved the file to form a high-level inquiry commission to solve the problems of usury victims soon after taking charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The minister has given the formation of a high-level inquiry commission the go-ahead to solve the problems of loan shark victims in accordance with the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1969. He will take the proposal to the Council of Ministers," said Joint Secretary Jitendra Basnet, who is also the spokesperson for the home ministry. "There is a provision for the Council of Ministers to form a commission."

He said that the commission may be formed by the Council of Ministers by Sunday. Some discussions and preparation may have to be done. It will probably materialize by Sunday,” said Joint Secretary Basnet. Home Minister Shrestha has prepared for the formation of a high-level commission of inquiry according to the demand of the protesting loan shark victims in Kathmandu.

What is the legal system?

Section-3, sub-section-2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1969 provides that if it is necessary to form a commission to investigate a matter of public importance, the government of Nepal or the provincial governments can form a commission of inquiry consisting of one or more members. Similarly, according to Sub-section 2 of Section 3 of this Act, such commissions shall be chaired by a judge appointed by the Government of Nepal in the case where there is only a judge or other persons as well. The judicial council should be consulted while forming such a commission. This commission has the power to present a person before the commission and take a statement, to order a person to submit any document, to hear evidence and to extract any document or its copy from any government or public office or court as per the prevailing law.

Negotiations and protests continue

Loan shark victims of eight districts who reached Kathmandu on March 16 after walking from Bardibas of Mahottari are protesting. They are protesting with 9-point demands, including the formation of a high-level commission of inquiry. It includes points such as Tamsuk system should be abolished, laws should be made in favor of usury victims, cases based on Tamsuk and ongoing arrest warrants should be suspended, property of usurious moneylenders should be investigated and returned to the person in whose name it came from.

After the protest of agitated loan shark victims in Kathmandu, the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday decided to amend the law necessary to solve the problem. The meeting has decided to consider loan sharking as a crime and include it in the Civil Code. On the same day, under the coordination of Joint Secretary at Ministry of Home Affairs Rudra Devi Sharma, Under Secretary of Home Affairs Dilkumar Tamang, Under Secretary of the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Umakant Adhikari and Under Secretary of Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Jung Bahadur Danga, negotiation committee was formed. The negotiation team is negotiating with the protesting parties. But the talks have not reached a reasonable conclusion by Friday. Talks were held on Friday from 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM. "Positive discussions are going on," said Manoj Paswan, who is leading the movement, "but we have not reached a definite conclusion."

Proposal to scrap ‘informant payment’

Likewise, the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Shrestha has decided to take the proposal to the Council of Ministers to abolish the practice of spending by the Home Minister and the Home Secretary in the name of Source mobilization Guideline, 2022 (Informers). According to the same procedure, the Home Minister and the Home Secretary have been accused of spending money unnecessarily. Some security experts are also commenting that the internal security system should not be used by showing some weaknesses in the system for cheap popularity.

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