SC stays TRC guideline for placing cases on hold

Published On: September 30, 2016 01:25 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 30: Supreme Court on Thursday issued an interim order to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission not to implement its guidelines for putting complaints on hold, pending another court order.

Responding to a writ petition filed by 15 conflict victims, including Binaydhoj Chand and advocate Gyanendra Aran, a single bench of Justice Hari Krishna Karki issued the interim order and asked defendants to appear at the next hearing on the petition  to discuss whether or not to continue the interim order.

Conflict victims had filed the writ petition  at the apex court on Monday, asking for the interim order and for annulments to the guidelines. The victims claimed that the guidelines went against the principle of transitional justice and several of its provisions were designed to amnesty the perpetrators of heinous crimes committed during the insurgency. They argued that the guidelines were controversial and illegal.

According to the petitioners, the guidelines call for putting cases on hold on the ground of lack of evidence or adequate details. They also claimed that the guidelines call for putting on hold even insurgency-era cases if these are not directly related to the conflict parties -- security forces and insurgents.

However, the TRC has been claiming that the guidelines were prepared as per the TRC Act. The commission has also been claiming that the guidelines put on hold only cases that are beyond its jurisdiction, and that the victims moved the court out of faulty understanding.

TRC staff have been going through the complaints and have recommended that around 800 complaints be put on hold. However, the commission has not yet put a single case on hold through a formal decision. 

"The guidelines suggest putting on hold only the complaints that are beyond TRC jurisdiction ," said a TRC official.

The commission had brought the guidelines into effect in August. However, the conflict victims have asked the commission to review them and annul some of its provisions. The victims were mainly concerned over some provisions such as putting on hold complaints related to legal, organizational or departmental action that was taken by the state but not against the then CPN (Maoist). 

Likewise, victims were concerned over provisions for putting on hold cases that lack the basis for further investigations and complaints recommended for on-hold by investigation officers in their report.

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