KATHMANDU, April 29: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the government to immediately implement the provisions of Criminal Offense (Sentence Determination and Implementation) Act, 2017 on prison reforms and releasing of detainees.
A division bench of justices Kumar Regmi and Hari Prasad Phuyal issued the stay order directing the authorities—the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prison Department—to publish notice in the Nepal Gazette for the implementation of Section 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and 49 of the Act as required by Section 1(2) of the Act.
The apex court order came in response to a writ petition filed by seven detainees, including Gopal Siwakoti Chintan, as the government has acted despite the promulgation of the Act three years ago.
Underscoring the need to implement the Act to reform prisons, the bench ordered the government to enact the job within seven days, as the parliament had introduced facilities for community service, open prison, parole and probation for the improved detainees.
The bench also directed the authorities to allow to decrease sentences to the deserving detainees as per their records. Directing the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to implement its March 19 decision to fight against the coronavirus, the bench directed the authorities to release deserving detainees and report the apex court within 15 days.
Directing the authorities to maintain proper disinfection, healthcare in the prisons, the bench also asked to report the situation of the implementation of the order in 15 days and to produce the report on May 20 for next hearing.
On April 15, the apex court had sought government authorities' explanation on releasing detainees' under the special arrangement to fight against coronavirus. Seven detainees, including Chintan, had filed the petition demanding their release.