MOD forms panel to recommend revision in military justice system

KATHMANDU, JUL 19 -  

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formed a panel to make recommendations on changes to be made in the military justice system.

The seven-member team, which started its work last month, is headed by Joint Secretary Udaya Sapkota and comprises representatives of the Defence Ministry and Nepal Army. The panel will consult with security and legal experts to revise the justice system envisioned by the Nepal Army Act 2006.

The decision to form the panel comes almost a year after the Supreme Court directed formation of a taskforce to reform the military justice system in line with the Interim Constitution and the international rights treaties signed by the government. A special bench headed by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi delivered the directive responding to a petition that claimed there were flaws in court martial, as same military authority investigates, prosecutes and also adjudicates the cases. 

Cases related to rape and murder by military personnel can only be referred to a civilian court, as per the current military act. All other cases against Nepal Army personnel are looked by the military court, according to the Act.

Similarly, cases of corruption, disappearances, torture and theft will be investigated by a mechanism led by joint attorney general; however, verdict on it will be delivered by an Army Special Court. The panel will study international experiences and consult with experts before unveiling its report within its six-month deadline. It includes three representatives from the Ministry of Defence, three NA officers and one representative from the Ministry of Law.

Posted on: 2012-07-19 07:00