Supreme Court orders administration to register petition against Prime Minister Dahal, former PM BhattaraiThe petition demands prosecution against them on charge of war crimes.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the court’s administration to register a writ petition against Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai in a war-era case.
A single bench of Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai issued the order to register the petition by former Maoist child soldiers including Lenin Bista demanding a court’s order to start the prosecution process against the defendants for war crimes.
Earlier the apex court’s administration had refused to register the petition arguing the case will be settled through the transitional justice bodies that are overseeing the conflict-era cases.
The petitioners have demanded the Supreme Court issue a mandamus order in the name of the defendants to take necessary steps to bring Dahal and Bhattarai in the ambit of action as per international law and action by establishing a tribunal at the national level by coordinating with the United Nations Security Council.
Likewise, the petition has demanded the court issue an interim order in the name of the defendants to start the process of providing compensation and justice after recognising them as child soldiers.
The writ petition has also demanded to suspend Dahal’s prime ministerial position or issue an interim order to that end.
Thousands of Maoist fighters including Bista had been disqualified during the verification process for army integration conducted by UNMIN in 2007 for being minors.
Among the 4,008 disqualified combatants, 2,973 were minors while the remaining 1,035 had joined the Maoist People’s Liberation Army after the first ceasefire of May 26, 2006 — six months before the peace deal was signed. The government had provided between Rs 500,000 and Rs 800,000 for the combatants who chose voluntary retirement. However, those who were disqualified didn’t receive any substantial support, except for a few thousand rupees from the United Nations.
Dahal was chief of the erstwhile rebel Maoist party and Bhattarai second-in-command.