Published On: March 20, 2023 07:45 AM NPT By: Tapendra Karki
KATHMANDU, March 20: With a few days left for the appointment of the new IGP, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) is preparing to introduce a new Police Act to replace the Nepal Police Act, 2012. The government is planning to introduce a new police act to remove the provision of the 30-year term of service in the existing police act.
A draft of 'Nepal Police Act, 2023' has been prepared to replace the Police Act, 2012. A new law has been drafted to replace the existing police act due to the Supreme Court's decision to remove the 30-year term limit for high-ranking police officials.
“It has been sent to the Ministry of Finance for approval," said Jitendra Basnet, spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs. As per the law, it should be sent to the Public Service Commission for suggestions. The draft bill is then submitted to the Council of Ministers after the approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. After approval from the Council of Ministers, it has to be presented to the parliament.
According to Joint Secretary Basnet, the 30-year service period in the Nepal Police has been removed in the new draft. "It has been proposed to remove the provision after concerns from many quarters that the current term of service is not scientific," he said.
When KP Oli was the Prime Minister and Ram Bahadur Thapa was the Home Minister, the Nepal Police Act amendment draft was submitted to the Parliament in 2020 with a proposal to remove the 30-year service term. At that time, after the draft was sent back by the parliament, the law could not be amended. According to sources at the Ministry of Home Affairs, the term of the IGP is mentioned in Section 127 of the Police Act, 2012 to be of four years, but the term of the IGP is set to be three years in the new draft. In the draft, the age limit of IGP has been kept at 58 years. In the amendment draft, the age limit and term of office of AIG have been changed.
According to the existing police regulations, the age limit of AIG is 56 and the term of office is five years. But in the draft law, the age limit of AIG has been proposed to be increased by one year to 57 and the term of office has been reduced by one year to four years. Similarly, it has been proposed to revise the age limit and tenure of AIG and DIG in the law amendment draft.
Currently, according to the police regulations, the tenure of DIG is five years and the age limit is 56 years. In the new draft, the age limit of SSP is 56 and term of office is six years. The age limit of SP is 56 years and tenure is 10 years.
The Police Act, 2012 will be repealed after the draft of the Nepal Police Act, 2023 is passed by the parliament.
There has been a debate on whether or not to remove the 30-year service limit in Nepal Police. Those who are in the line of IGP are in favor of not removing the age limit of 30 years and removing the incumbent IGP, while those who are not in the line of IGP and former police officers have been demanding removal of the 30-year age limit.
“This tussle in Nepal Police has been going on for the past 30 years. The Nepalese Army does not have this provision. Only in Nepal Police and Armed Police Force there is a dispute about whether to remove the 30-year service period due to political strife," said a high-ranking officer of Nepal Police. According to him, everyone agrees that the 30-year service period should be removed, but they are not ready to set a date.
Former DIG of Nepal Police Hemanta Malla Thakuri argues that the 30-year term of service should be removed. Former Inspector General of Police Kuber Singh Rana and former AIG Pushkar Karki have also publicly expressed the need to abolish the 30-year term of service. It has been said many times that 30 years of service should be removed. Former DIG Thakuri says that there has been a lot of foul-play in the name of terms of service.
“Due to 30 years of service, many police officers have retired at the age of 50 to 53 years. After making this arrangement in the Police Act, the problem will be solved," said Malla.
The age limit for police service in India is 60 years. In China, the age limit for male police officers is 60 and for female police officers is 55. The age limit for police officers in Canada is 65 years. In Iceland, Germany and Israel the age is 67. In many countries of the world, the age limit for police service is 60 to 68 years. The age limit for police service in Nepal is 48 years to 56 years.
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