SC fiat to address Dalits' concern
Last Updated : 2010-06-10 10:41 PM
The Himalayan Times - Saved Articles(s)
Ananta Raj Luitel
KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today directed the government to
constitute a special committee to find in what context the words
chhota and bada are used in the preamble of the Country's Code (Muluki
A three-member full bench of Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha,
Justices Prem Sharma and Bharat Raj Upreti issued the directive in
response to a two-year-old public interest litigation.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Law and
Justice, the Ministry of Federal Affairs, Constituent Assembly and the
National Dalit Commission were given a year to come at a conclusion
after conducting a substantial study.
The preamble states that promulgation of the code was required to
provide justice to all chhota and bada equally, as the holy books
"were not sufficient to do so."
Dalit advocate Ratna Bahadur Bagchand, who is now appellate court
judge, had stated in the PIL that use of words chhota and bada in the
preamble code violated the spirit of the interim constitution that has
abolished caste based discrimination. He claimed that such words were
nothing but a stigma on the lower caste people.
"Historic importance of the promulgation of the code may be lost by
removing these words. A substantial study should be done to find in
what context these words were used. Only after that the court will
decide whether to remove these words or not from the code," the bench
Stating that removing the words based on an assumption will be
inappropriate, the bench also directed the authorities to find what
should be done if the words were removed from the Muluki Ain.
It directed the authorities to include a historian, a sociologist, a
culture expert, a legal expert and an expert on caste-based system in
Nepal in the special committee.
The bench directed that the study should unearth whether the words
were used to address the the historic caste based system or were used
in some other context.
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