On 9th May 2023, which is also interestingly the “National Day of Law” in Nepal, “Bill to amend some Nepal Act, 2080 BS” was registered at the House of Representatives. Section 64 of the proposed bill sought to amend The National Criminal Procedure (Code) Act of 2017. The amendment sought to provide impunity to politicians with a criminal background has been met with resistance.

According to the proposed bill, if any political party or group which does not agree with the nation’s mainstream political parties and conducts illegal activities, and if chooses to abandon such illegal practices and wishes to join mainstream politics, the government of Nepal will be allowed to withdraw any case at any court of Nepal.

In a gist, the amendment aims to provide impunity to political revolutionaries who have resorted to crime and violence if they agree to join mainstream politics.

According to Advocate Ashankan Malla, the proposed change could be the government’s effort to dismiss such cases in the future. For example, Resham Chaudhary would not need a presidential pardon as it was required earlier. Also, because transitional bodies such as the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons are almost defunct, a few victims have been approaching the court directly.

“For example, in June, a case had been filed against Prime Minister Prachanda, Ex-Prime Minister Bhattarai, and other ministries by Ex-soldier and Ex-Chairman of People’s Liberation Army Lenin Bista for the use of child soldiers during the People’s War. Such an amendment could grant impunity in the context of joining mainstream politics.”

RSP Lawmaker Sumana Shrestha has also taken to social media to express her discontentment with the proposed change, calling out the blatant politicization of crime. She has said the section is against the constitution, the spirit of the law, and the rights of the people of Nepal who wish to access justice.