The caretaker government, led by Nepali Congress Chair Sher Bahadur Deuba, has decided to issue an ordinance to amend the criminal code which will clear existing legal hurdles to grant amnesty to anyone convicted of heinous crimes.
The ordinance is signaled to provide amnesty, particularly to Resham Chaudhary, who is serving a life sentence in connection to the Tikapur carnage in August 2015.
In March 2019, the Kailali District Court convicted Chaudhary of being the mastermind behind the incident in which eight people including a toddler were killed. The Dipayal High court in December 2020 upheld the district court’s decision.
A Cabinet meeting on Sunday decided to bring an ordinance to amend Section 116 of The National Civil (Code) Act, 2017 which will allow Resham Chaudhary to be removed from the ‘negative list’.
The National Civil (Code) Act, 2017, Section 116, states that cases of people who were involved in killing people in an inhumane manner could not be pardoned.
Due to this legal provision, the government has not been able to release Resham Chaudhary and other perpetrators with strong political connections.
The ruling five-party alliance is preparing to form a new government but lacks required 138 seats to prove their majority in parliament.
The alliance has 136 members but a Congress lawmaker, Tek Bahadur Gurung, can’t perform his parliamentary responsibilities because of corruption charges. Hence, the alliance needs the support of at least three more lawmakers to prove a parliamentary majority.
Currently, the ruling alliance is approaching the Nagarik Unmukti Party for its support as the party has three lawmakers. However, Nagarik Unmukti Party, led by Ranjita Shrestha, wife of Resham Chaudhary, has stated the release of Chaudhary as the main precondition of the party for extending its support to the ruling coalition.