NHRC Bill will be revised to address concerns: House panel chief

Published On: May 25, 2019 07:46 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 25: The chairman of the parliament’s Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee, Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, has promised to revise the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Bill in line with the spirit of the constitution.

Talking to media on Friday, Pokharel said that the bill will be revised through parliamentary process addressing the concerns of human rights activists and the NHRC. “There are concerns over whether the NHRC bill will be amended against the constitutional spirit. We won’t allow such a thing to happen,” said Pokharel. “Our committee will revise the bill addressing the concerns and I will put in my best efforts to revise the bill unanimously from the parliamentary committee.”

NHRC, civil society members and human right defenders have expressed serious objections to various provisions of the bill, which was registered in parliament secretariat by the government last month. The House is expected to forward the bill to the human rights committee of the parliament for deliberations and revision.

Stating that Nepal should abide by international conventions and the Paris Agreement, Pokharel said that the committee will revise the contentious provisions of the bill so that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will not have upper hand in deciding whether or not to prosecute cases.

“The OAG should act as per the recommendation of the NHRC. But the proposed provision allowing the OAG to send back recommendation [to the NHRC] for further investigation has just created confusion,” Pokharel said.

Pokharel also said that the proposed provision in the Media Council Bill to impose hefty fines on journalists should be revised. “Ruling party leaders will also register amendments against such provisions,” he said.

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