CIEDP calls for early amendmentOfficials from the Commission of Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) have urged Minister for Law and Justice (MoLJ) Sher Bahadur Tamang to expedite amendments to the existing Act on transitional justice, saying that the lack of required laws was responsible for the sluggish investigation process.
Officials from the Commission of Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) have urged Minister for Law and Justice (MoLJ) Sher Bahadur Tamang to expedite amendments to the existing Act on transitional justice, saying that the lack of required laws was responsible for the sluggish investigation process.
A team of officials headed by commission’s Chairman Lokendra Mallick, who called on Minister Tamang on Monday, also asked him to resolve other administrative and procedural complexities facing the CIEDP. With the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPC) now dissolved, the MoLJ is looking after the two transitional justice bodies. IB Gurung, a member of the commission who was present at the meeting, said Minister Tamang assured them that the amendment bill would be completed soon. The CIEDP, which was formed on February 9, 2015, has been looking into war-era cases of disappearance both by the state actors and the erstwhile Maoist rebels during the 1996-2006 insurgency.
“The drafting process of the amendment bill is going on. The government is planning to table the bill at the House of Representatives with the consent from all the stakeholders once the new session starts,” Gurung quoted Tamang as saying. The new Parliament session is likely to start in mid-May.
Despite the Supreme Court’s order in January 2015 to amend a dozen provisions in the CIEDP and Truth and Reconciliation Act, the government has ignored it much to the chagrin of conflict victims and rights defenders. The court had ordered to criminalise torture and disappearances and remove the statute of limitation for registering conflict-era cases. The amended Act is expected to define grave crimes such as unlawful killing, rape, enforced disappearance and torture, in which the perpetrators cannot get amnesty. The court had also ruled out amnesty for perpetrators of grave human rights violation.
Althought the MoPC had drafted an amendment paper in the 2015-end based on the court order, it did not make much headway due to the lack of consensus among the political parties. The draft, which was sent to the Law Ministry for approval, was returned to the Peace Ministry two years later without feedback.
Out of the 3,093 registered cases, the CIEDP has segregated 2,258 cases as “genuine” during a preliminary investigation. The CIEDP officials said they had completed investigation into more than 400 cases. With the commission’s term set to expire in 10 months, rights observers doubt the TJ body could complete the investigation into all the cases.