SC issues show cause over relief payment for disqualified combatants

Published On: August 25, 2016 12:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 25: The Supreme Court has asked the government to furnish a written clarification over the allocation of budget for providing Rs 200,000 each to disqualified combatants in the name of relief payment.

Responding to a writ petition filed by 131 conflict victims, including Nepali Congress leaders Kul Bahadur Gurung and Binaya Dhoj Chand and advocate Gyanendra Raj Aran, the single bench of Justice Gopal Parajuli on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to the government.

The bench has also said that it would decide whether to issue an interim order after the government and other defendants present their arguments during the next hearing.

In the annual budget speech of the previous coalition government of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center), it was announced that each disqualified combatant would be provided a sum of Rs 200,000 as relief payment. The appropriation bill has already been endorsed by the parliament.

Following the announcement, the conflict victims moved the SC claiming that the government move was against the constitution and court precedents. They have argued that the budget allocation had no legal basis and it would tantamount to embezzlement of state coffers.   

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had disqualified 4,008 combatants, stating that 2,973 of them were minors and other 1,035 late recruits.

The petitioners have asked the court to scrap the budget allocation and issue an interim order until the final verdict is passed on the issue.

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