KATHMANDU, June 25: Members of federal parliament have stressed more discussions to revise the statute of limitation on rape cases in the laws.
Speaking at the Expert Review and stakeholders' Consultation program organized by the Law, Justice, and Human Rights Committee (LJHRC) of the House of Representatives with technical support from UNDP's Parliamentary Support Project in Kathmandu on Friday, they lawmakers argued any decision on revising the existing provision related to the Statute of Limitation on rape cases need wider discussions with stakeholders concerned.
The program was organized to make experts review on two bills namely, Bill to Amend Some Nepal Acts Against Sexual Violence and Bill to Amend Some Nepal Acts Relating to Criminal Offense and Criminal Procedure.
Advocate Sabin Shrestha, who is an expert on child rights, women's rights, and criminal laws, reviewed both bills and shared his views including references from international practices and UN recommendations through Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Putting forth his views on the “Bill to amend some Nepal Acts relating to Criminal Offense and Criminal Procedure,” the expert highlighted the need to redefine the definition of "acid" by adding the word “burn” so that other kinds of burn survivors could also get justice.
Taking part in the discussion, lawmaker of CPN (Maoist Center) Dev Gurung urged experts to conduct further study on international practices from socialist countries as well as South Africa that would be more relevant in Nepali context. Lawmakers Jhapat Rawal and Laxman Lal Karna said lawmakers need to discuss and think about it widely before taking a decision on the issue.
Samjha Shrestha, a CSO representative, said laws should be compatible with the social context. Laxmi Aryal, a representative from WOREC Nepal, said as women and girls at any time can speak up against sexual violence, there should not be any statute of limitation in filing the case.
A total of 45 participants including 19 MPs, committee secretariat staff, representatives of civil society organizations and journalists participated in the discussion.