SC halts govt plan to dole out over Rs 800 million to 'disqualified' Maoist combatants

Published On: May 17, 2023 10:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 17: The Supreme Court has issued a short-term interim order in the name of the government not to immediately implement the decision to give a relief amount of Rs 200,000 each to the ex-combatants of Maoist.

The single bench of SC Justice Kumar Regmi issued the short-term order and instructed both the parties for discussion on whether to issue an interim order or not. With this, the government’s move to dole out cash to the disqualified ex-Maoist combatants more than Rs 800 million has been put on a hold.

Advocate Gyanendra Aran had earlier filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court claiming that the decision to provide relief money to the disqualified Maoist fighters was illegal.

The government had decided to provide relief money to disqualified Maoist fighters at the rate of Rs 200,000 each. According to the decision of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs has already prepared a procedure to provide funds.

A Cabinet meeting held on March 20 had decided to distribute funds to the disqualified fighters. According to the same decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs has prepared and issued the 'Procedures for providing relief to disqualified combatants of armed conflict, 2079'.

In the preamble of the Procedure, it is mentioned that out of the amount of Rs 1.4 billion allocated for the rest of the peace process in the budget statement of the fiscal year 2079/80, funds will be gradually distributed to the disqualified fighters. In the preamble, it is also mentioned that the Ministry of Finance agreed to provide the said amount on March 16.

How many disqualified ex-Maoist combatants are there?

On November 8, 2006, there was a 12-point and eight-point agreements between the then seven parties and the then CPN-Maoist to make the elections to the Constituent Assembly peaceful, fair and fearless. At that time it was agreed that the Maoist combatants would be stationed in the seven main cantonments in Kailali, Surkhet, Rolpa, Palpa, Kavre, Sindhuli and Ilam and would be verified and monitored by the United Nations. Before that, in the five-point agreement between the government and the Maoists on August 9, 2006, it was agreed to involve the United Nations in the peace process.

According to that agreement, since August 28, 2006, Ian Martin, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary General, had returned to Nepal after preparing for the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). According to this agreement, in the comprehensive peace agreement signed on November 21, 2006, it was further agreed to separate the Maoist fighters and their weapons in the camp.

On the basis of this agreement, UNMIN was established on January 23, 2007 based on UN Security Council Resolution No. 1740. Over a period of about four years, UNMIN’s term was extended seven times. It was involved in verification of the Maoist fighters, monitoring of weapons and fighters and conflict facilitation.

The criteria were set according to agreement on monitoring of the management of arms and armies between the government and the Maoists on December 6, 2006. In this agreement, it was mentioned that a Maoist fighter must have joined the Maoist army before May 25, 2006, and must have been born before May 25, 1988 to be accepted for integration into the Nepalese Army.

Accordingly, 32,250 fighters were first registered when UNMIN started verification. Out of them, 8,640 did not attend the verification of UNMIN. Among those present 19,602 were declared eligible fighters whereas 4,008 people were certified as disqualified combatants by UNMIN. They were declared ineligible for the integration into the national army by the UNMIN as having enlisted after the Armistice Code had been issued and on the grounds of being underage.

The Maoist Center-led government had prepared to give Rs 200,000 each to those disqualified ex-Maoist combatants. In the procedure, it is said that "disqualified combatant" means the combatant whose names and details are mentioned in the report as disqualified combatants in the verification of UNMIN. 

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