National Human Rights Commission sans Secretary for past three months

KATHMANDU: The post of Secretary has been lying vacant at the National Human Rights Commission for the past three months due to lack of criteria. Acting Secretary is carrying out daily work at the Commission.

Earlier, the Supreme Court, in response to a writ petition, had ordered the commission to set a criteria to appoint the secretary. A writ petition was filed at the apex court after Joint Secretary Bed Prasad Bhattarai was appointed as the Secretary at the Commission. Along with Bhattarai another Joint Secretary had also tried to apply for the post, but he was not allowed citing lack of requirement. Later, he filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court.

Responding to the case, which remained pending for a long time, the Supreme Court ordered the Commission to set a standard to appoint the Secretary. The Commission, however, has not made the criteria yet. Then Secretary Bhattarai said that though he had taken initiatives to make the criteria, but to not avail as the office bearers were against it.

He said that Chairman of the Commission Tap Bahadur Magar had held a meeting with former Minister for Law and then Nepal Law Commission Chairman Madhav Prasad Paudel regarding the issue.

Paudel suggested the Commission to set the criteria in the Act. But, it has been learnt that Manoj Duwadi, who looks after legal cases in the Commission, showed his reluctance to follow the suggestion.

When the NepalPress tried to find out the process to appoint a Secretary at the Commission, Joint Secretary Tika Ram Pokharel, who is also the spokesperson of the Commission, declined to comment on the process. He urged the NepalPress to ask the matter to the office bearers of the Commission.

Acting Secretary Murari Kharel of the Commission, however, said that a discussion has been going on with the office bearers about the process to appoint Secretary at the Commission.

He said that the process to appoint a Secretary will be moved ahead soon.

Meanwhile, before the retirement of the then Secretary Bhattarai, Tikaram Pokharle was given the responsibility of Acting Secretary on the basis of seniority. After office bearers were appointed at the Commission, Murari Prasad Kharel was appointed as the Acting Secretary by removing Pokharel.

Accusing the Commission of appointing office bearers in an unconstitutional way, Bhattarai said,”The Secretary appointed in an unconstitutional way cannot do a good job.”

Many have expected that Bhattarai will again be the Secretary of the Commission. But, he does not accept that.

Bhattari had worked as the Acting Secretary at the Commission for three years.

Four Joint Secretaries are vying for the post of Secretary. Acting Secretary Murari Kharel, Joint Secretaries Tika Ram Pokharel, Yagya Adhikari and Deepak Jung Dhoj Karki are the eligible candidates of the post of Secretary. Kharel and Pokharel are senior Joint Secretaries.



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