Policies formulated by local units contradict constitution

Published On: June 20, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: Devendra Basnet

DANG, June 20: Bangachuli Rural Municipality of Dang district recently passed a policy on education. The policy states that the management committee of each community school of the rural municipality shall be chaired by the ward chairperson concerned.

Restructuring of school management committees has been initiated as per the new policy.Accordingly, Shivey Damai, chairperson of Shreewari School of ward 3, was overthrown from the chairmanship of the school management committee on June 11. He was replaced by ward chair Shova Ram BK.Damai and another local Bheshraj Khatri filed a writ petition at Tulsipur High Court challenging the newly introduced education policy and restoration of Damai's chairmanship at the management committee.They prevailed as the court shut the door to implement the new education policy.

On June 17, the court issued an interim order not to implement the policy. The main basis for the verdict was that the policy was formulated completely ignoring Article 304 of the country's constitution.“The policy was introduced with the intention of taking control of all community schools,” said Khatri, who had filed the petition against Bangalachuli Rural Municipality.Likewise, Shantinagar Rural Municipality also had passed a similar education policy. The controversial policy has been brought to the court. The High Court, on June 14, issued an interim order not to implement the policy.“We had brought the policy with the intention of improving the quality of education at the schools.

But the court did not let us implement it,” said the rural municipality chairman Kamal Singh Dangi.He further said that they have locked the education unit of the rural municipality. “If the rural municipality cannot do its work, what are we supposed to do? We have not done any work for education after the court's verdict.”Of late, the local units are involved in formulating local laws and policies with complete disregard to the constitution. Not only are they involved in changing heads of school management committees, but also are increasingly active in transferring teachers and merging schools. Legal practitioners say the local units do not have the rights to dissolve schools and transfer teachers until the Education Act is amended. “The federal government has not introduced any laws.

Besides, the existing constitution would not accept any policies that contradict it,” said a lawyer.Contradicting the constitution is not limited to just education. There are many examples in the district where local units have gone against the country's constitution.The constitution mandates that land owners should be compensated if their land is acquired while carrying out developmental works such as road construction. However, Tulsipur Sub-metropolitan City is mocking the constitution in this regard.One of the locals, Kumari Regmi, has knocked the court door against a road project that is being introduced by the sub-metropolis. The road project to be carried out in Tulsipur Bazaar cuts at least four dhurs of land of the locals. However, the sub-metropolis has refused to provide them compensation. A road construction project of ward 11 of the sub-metropolis has a similar story.

According to legal practitioners, many cases have been filed at the court challenging the disregard of the constitution by the local government.

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