Government and police fail to abide by human rights commission’s recommendationThe commission two months ago had recommended action against police officials involved in extrajudicial killing of Kumar Paudel.
The government and Nepal Police have yet to implement the National Human Rights Commission’s recommendations for action against police officers involved in the extrajudicial killing of Kumar Paudel, Sarlahi district in-charge of the Communist Party of Nepal led by Netra Bikram Chand.
The constitutional rights watchdog on October 22 had concluded that Paudel was killed after he was taken into custody and directed the government next day to suspend and file criminal charges against three police officers involved in the killing.
An investigation by the commission had implicated Inspector Krishnadev Prasad Sah and Head Constable duo Binod Sah and Satya Narayan Mishra in Paudel’s death.
The commission had also prescribed departmental action against Inspector Kiran Neupane and Sub-inspector Surya Kumar Karki for furnishing false reports in the case.
Two months have passed since the commission’s recommendation, and the government and police department have shown no signs of implementing it, nor have they responded to the commission.
According to officials at the commission, the letter with the serial number 645 was dispatched to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs on October 22.
Bed Bhattarai, secretary at the commission, said the government must implement the recommendation within two months or report to the commissions if it fails to do so.
“The government, however, hasn’t communicated to us despite the legal obligation,” Bhattarai told the Post.
Clause 17 of the National Human Rights Commission Act makes it mandatory for the concerned official, individual or agency to implement its recommendations, decisions or the order. If they fail to do so, they have to write to the commission within two months from the date of receiving the recommendation, decision or orders from the commission explaining why they were not implemented.
Officials at the Home Ministry and Nepal Police didn’t give a clear answer to why the recommendations were not implemented.
Pushkar Sapkota, joint-secretary at the ministry who leads the department that looks after the recommendations from the commission, said since he was out of Kathmandu Valley, he cannot tell about the development.
“I have to inquire before I can tell you about the recommendations,” Sapkota told the Post.
The response from the Nepal Police was no different.
Deputy Inspector General Shailesh Thapa, the spokesperson for the Nepal Police, said he was new in the office, so he was not aware of the development.
He could comment only after studying the materials, he said.
Paudel was killed on June 20 in Lalbandi, Sarlahi, in what police had claimed was “police action”. According to a report by a team from the Home Ministry, security personnel had opened fire in retaliation after a group of four motorcycle-borne persons fired shots at a police patrol.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had said before the House of Representatives and Parliamentary State Affairs Committee, on more than one occasion, that Paudel was killed after police opened fire in self-defence.
However, an investigation by the commission, launched after complaints from family members, found that Paudel died under suspicious circumstances and finally concluded that he was killed extrajudicially.
Despite legal provisions in place, government agencies’ continued refusal to implement the recommendations has become a cause for concern among right defenders who say such an attitude is gradually rendering the constitutional commission ineffective.
The record of the commission shows hardly 14 percent of its recommendations are fully implemented by the government while the implementation rate in India is over 90 percent.
Anup Raj Sharma, chairperson of the commission, said the government is promoting impunity by not implementing the rights watchdog’s recommendations.
He said as the commission doesn’t have executive authority, it can only recommend and that it cannot take action on its own.
With the government’s reluctance in implementing its recommendations, the commission is preparing a list of human rights violators in the last 19 years since its establishment to be made public.
“We can at least make public the names of perpetrators,” said Sharma at an interaction on Monday. “The list will be out very soon.”