Lawmakers to be suspended only if court sends them judicial custody

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Kathmandu, February 16

Members of the House of Representatives will be suspended only if they are sent to judicial custody on charges of criminal activities.

They will not be suspended if they are charged with criminal activities.

A debate had ensued in the Regulation Draft Committee of the lower house on whether to suspend a lawmaker as soon as they were charged with criminal activities or after they were indicted.

The Maoist and Congress lawmakers said a lawmaker should be suspended in case s/he faces criminal charges. But lawmakers from smaller parties said a lawmaker should not be suspended until the charges were confirmed and s/he was convicted. They argued that lawmakers could face any kind of charges for political revenge.

UML lawmakers did not openly share their opinion in the committee, but lawmaker Subas Chandra Nembang said he agreed with lawmakers from smaller parties adding the public consensus was the same.

With this, an agreement has been reached in the committee that a lawmaker will be suspended only if they are sent to judicial custody on charges of criminal activities, said a lawmaker present at the committee meeting.

Previously, lawmakers were suspended as soon as criminal charges were filed. In the previous term, Hari Narayan Rauniyar and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar were suspended after being charged with corruption.

Now, a lawmaker who is sent to judicial custody by the court will be automatically suspended. If the lawmaker is released on bail, the suspension will be lifted.

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