Nepal SC Issues Show Cause Notice To PM Prachanda On Plea Seeking Probe Against Him For Killing 5,000 People


Mar 11, 2023, 10:32 AM | Updated 10:32 AM IST

Nepal PM Prachanda (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepal PM Prachanda (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kathmandu, Mar 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court of Nepal on Friday issued a show cause notice to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on a writ petition seeking a criminal investigation against him for the killing of 5,000 people during the decade-long Maoist insurgency in the country.

The petition brought by advocate Gyanendra Aran and other victims of Maoist insurgency was registered on Tuesday, Supreme Court sources said, adding that another writ by Kalyan Budhathoki was in the registration process.

Advocates Aaran and Budhathoki, who are also conflict victims, filed separate writ petitions at the Supreme Court demanding that Prachanda be investigated and prosecuted for admitting to being responsible for the killing of at least 5,000 people during the decade-long Maoist insurgency.

During a preliminary hearing on Friday, a single bench of Justice Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada ordered the defendants including the prime minister to submit a written response within 15 days on what actually had happened and why not to issue an order as demanded by the petitioners.

The apex court said issuing an interim order was not necessary, citing there are not enough reasons to pass the order in the current context. The petitioners had demanded that the court issue an interim order to arrest Prachanda, the 68-year-old prime minister.

The order further states it would be appropriate to resolve various questions raised by the petitioners with regard to constitutional provisions, international practices and the apex court’s verdicts in connection with the transitional justice delivery only through the final hearings, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.

On January 15, 2020, while addressing a Maghi festival celebration event in Kathmandu, Prachanda said he, as the leader of the Maoist party that led the decade-long insurgency, would take the responsibility for the deaths of 5,000 people and that the state should take responsibility for the remaining deaths.

It is estimated that around 17,000 people lost their lives during the decade-long insurgency. Prachanda waged the armed conflict for a decade in the name of 'People's War'.

On November 14, the court asked its administration to clarify its refusal to register the petitions against Prachanda. A single bench of Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki had decided to seek a report on why the Supreme Court administration had refused to register the petitions filed by the advocates.

However, on March 3, the apex court ordered its administration to take the petitions against Dahal, stating that the criminal justice process could not be kept on hold, made ineffective or passive under any pretext.

In their petitions, the victims have demanded the court take necessary legal action against Dahal for the killings that he himself owned up to.

The rebellion that started on February 13, 1996, officially came to an end after a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was reached with the then government on November 21, 2006.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Maoist leaders held on Tuesday reached a three-point decision, including protesting and countering any activity that is against the peace agreement.

A statement issued after the meeting says, 'Our serious attention has been drawn to the ongoing discussion regarding transitional justice. We firmly believe that matters related to the peace process should be managed in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Matters related to transitional justice should be taken forward through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.' The current and former Maoist leaders also vowed to counter activities that are against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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