Narayan Neupane, KATHMANDU: The civil society representatives have urged the government and parliaments to immediately address citizens’ participation in law making process. Law made by ignoring public acceptance and participation will be protested, they warned.
The civil society representatives strongly urged the political leadership not to limit people’s participation only in words but in law, politics, constitution and practice equally. They made aware the parliament and lawmakers to hold adequate debate and discussion on law-making so that it would not be questioned in the constitutional bench, they further added.
They expressed much concern why 15 bills were passed in a single day without ensuring citizen’s participation. It has weakened the rule of law, the civil society blamed, adding that it created such situation that even the lawmakers were not aware of the bills- why they were made.
The speakers expressed such concern at a talk programme on “citizen’s participation in law making process” organized jointly by the Open University, Kathmandu University, Nepal Law Society, General Election Observation Committee, and NEETI Foundation in Lalitpur today.
Former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha said the bills passed by the lawmakers should be acceptable to the people. Fairness, objectivity, transparency must be reflected in it with adequate participation of people, he stressed.
The laws made in a non-transparent manner have no relevance, he argued, adding that accountability of parliament to voters must be ensured. It is sheer disgust to know the personal interest dominating the law making process.
On the occasion, Chairman of the Delegated Management and Government Assurance Committee of the National Assembly, Ram Narayan Bidari, said civil society must be watchful on lawmakers’ activities. He blamed that some lawmakers were engaging debate of development works and disputes rather than involving in lawmaking process.
Similarly, Professor Krishna Khanal said, “Government has shrunken the role of civil society in Nepal at present. Only the laws made with people’s participation are durable. Civic education and awareness is imperative for lawmaking. The system must be accountable and transparent,” he underscored.
INSEC Chairwoman Indira Shrestha suggested the government and lawmakers to accept civil society as partner rather than opponent.
Former Chairman of Nepal Bar Association, Sher Bahadur KC, expressed serious concern over the government effort to keep National Human Rights Commission under the Attorney General. It seizes autonomy to NHRC, he argued.
At the programme, lawmaker Min Bishwokarma said as the trend of political control is growing these days, people’s participation in law making was weakening.
Human rights defender argued that law making was in fifth priority of lawmakers, and people’s participation in it is rendered ineffective.
On the occasion, Chairman of Federal Parliament Hearing Committee, Laxman Lal Karna, opined that it was necessary to make citizens aware and educated to ensure their participation in law making process.
Lawmaker Pushpa Bhushal said trend of misusing law has increased lately to enfeeble democracy. RSS
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