BIMAL GAUTAM

KATHMANDU, July 13: The newly drafted National Human Rights Commission bill, which is expected to pass into law shortly, has provisions for making human rights violators liable to pay compensation to their victims.

Provisions in Sub-Clauses 7 and 8 under Clause 17 of the NHRC Bill-2068 BS states that those involved in human rights violation deliberately or with ill intent have to pay compensation to the victims or their families as per the findings of the NHRC.

“A person who is found guilty of human rights violations has to pay cash compensation to the victim or victims from his or her salary or any other source of income,” reads the relevent provision.

According to the bill, the office to which the human rights offender belongs will pay compensation to the victim party if the offender is already retired from service. “Later, the office will seek reimbursement of the amount from the offender,” states the bill.

“Several rounds of discussions over the provisions of the bill have taken place and it will become an act of parliament shortly to replace the existing NHRC Act, 2053 BS,” a knowledgeable government source divulged.

The source added that security personnel found guilty of human rights violation—whether they belongs to the Nepal Army, Nepal police or Armed Police Force– will have to provide compensation to the victims. The provisions will be applicable not only to those in public positions but equally to private individuals found guilty of rights violation.

“This provision will help make officials responsible in their duties,” said an incumbent government secretary referring anonymity, adding, “It will ultimately help curb the growing incidence of human rights violation in the country.”

The bill has provisions entrusting NHRC to publicize the names and addresses of persons and institutions as human rights violators if they are found not implementing, abiding by or following its recommendations, decisions and directions.

NHRC would, however, be allowed to publicize names of human rights violators only after receiving their clarifications over the matter. NHRC will first ask the violator to furnish clarifications within 15 days for defying any NHRC order or direction.

“If the clarifications are not furnished within the stipulated time,” the bill states, “or if the clarifications do not satisfy NHRC, his/her name and also the names of the institutions would be publicized as human rights violators,” read the provisions.

The bill also empowers NHRC to recommend to the government not to appoint or promote human rights violators to public positions. “If he/she is to be appointed or promoted to any public position by the government, the records at NHRC would be taken seriously as an assessment,” the bill states.

The new bill has additionally mandated NHRC to directly recommend to the government to take departmental action against human rights violators. “The commission can recommend to the government to take departmental action against those who deliberately do not provide documents and/or do not co-operate with the commission in its investigations,” states the bill. Those who refuse to appear before the commission despite a summons could also face departmental action.

As per the new provisions, NHRC would also recommend to the government to compensate the victims, depending on the nature of the human rights violation. Victims could be paid compensation of up to Rs 300,000.

Source: http://myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=33433