Nepali Supreme Court Orders to Amend Law on Monarchy

    2008-11-14 12:16:48     Xinhua
The Supreme Court of Nepal on Thursday ordered the government to amend acts that contradict provisions of the Interim Constitution, especially the provisions on defamation of monarchy, local newspaper The Himalayan Times reported Friday.

A three-member full-bench of Justices Anup Raj Sharma, Kalyan Shrestha and Rajendra Prasad Koirala issued the order. It asked the Nepali government to take initiatives to come up with provisions that are compatible with the Interim Constitution, which was promulgated on Jan. 15, 2007.

A group of lawyers had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the apex court intervention in the matter, according to the report.

The petitioners maintained that the State Offence Act (SOA) 1989 should prohibit anyone from defaming or criticizing the monarchy. They demanded the related section of the 1989 Act to be scrapped as it is incompatible with the Interim Constitution and provisions of the International Convention on Human Rights.

SOA 1989 states that those, who defame the king and other members of the royal family, can be jailed for three years or to fine 3,000 Nepalese Rupees (some 40 U.S. dollars) or both. The Act is outdated with the abolition of monarchy, according to the petitioners.

The first Constituent Assembly meeting on May 28 declared Nepal a federal democratic republic.


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