Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Govinda Prasad Sharma (Koirala) has said that the government is dedicated to justice for the conflict victims in keeping with the peace agreement and the principles of international law.
He said this while responding to the questions raised by the lawmakers during deliberations on the principles of the Inquiry on Enforced Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Third Amendment) Bill, 2079 BS in a meeting of the House of Representatives today.
The Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister on the occasion reiterated the government’s pledge to ensuring the right of the conflict victims to know the truth, get justice and reforms to be undertaken in future in line with the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the decisions of the Supreme Court and the obligations of Nepal arising from the commitment it has made to the international laws.
He begged for pardon for the delay in providing justice to the conflict victims due to the delay on the part of the State in carrying out investigation into crimes against humanity. Stating the questions raised by lawmakers asking for justice to the conflict victims were positive and welcome, and the topic of how far we can go in the transitional justice process is valid.
“The situation is that the government is moving ahead in accordance with the transitional justice process rather than through the criminal justice system. This (transitional justice) is also a political process. Had it been merely a legal process, the regular criminal justice system would have come into play the very next day the CPA was signed,” he said.
Stating that the bill has reached the parliament because the government has heard the voices of the conflict victims, Minister Koirala argued that the bill incorporates good provisions as it has come through a long process and discussions at the federal and provincial levels.
He added that the bill has addressed the grievances of the victims by directly engaging with them in all the seven provinces and by taking suggestions from the stakeholders concerned even in the capital, Kathmandu, over the last nearly one and half months.
Minister Koirala contended that the bill has been brought in favour of justice to the victims without violating the international laws to the maximum degree the State can bear. He urged the lawmakers not to see the bill from political angle but be guided by the aspiration that the common problem should be addressed through consensus.
Although the bill had been introduced by the previous government, he said, it could not be finalized and endorsed. Minister called on all the parties to agree on endorsing the bill with the common feeling that this is a national issue and it needs to be sorted out soon.