These laws are as important as the constitution and in some cases even more than the constitution because they touch upon the lives of every citizen” - Radhe Shyam Adhikari, Nepal Lawmaker
Nepal is making major developments to ensure that its citizens enjoy good living standards, by incorporating or improving its existing legal practices and rights system.
The list includes single motherhood rights, the upcoming anti-bullying policy, the introduction of a consumer court and very recently, the Civil Code Act and Criminal Code Act!
Today, Nepal’s new Civil Code Act and Criminal Code Act which envision to bring major reforms in the country’s legal system, will come into play.
So, how do Nepalis benefit from them?
The Civil Code Act provisions the following:
- The law states that if a Nepali couple or a Nepali and foreigner take divorce in a foreign country, it can get legal validity in Nepal if the divorce process is based on the laws of that particular country
- It also allows a divorced women the right to use the property given by her former husband gives her, even if she remarries
- It allows a woman the right to use her father’s surname, mother’s surname, husband’s or both the couples’ surnames
- It provisions ‘usufruct’, which allows a person to transfer his/her property to somebody else. The receiving person can use the property as his/hers but cannot change the substance of the property without the owner’s consent
- It stipulates that an animal owner will be held responsible, if the animal harms a person
The Criminal code provisions the following:
- It provisions courts to enact extraterritorial jurisdiction whereby a crime is committed against a ship registered in Nepal then the courts can try the accused is he/she is found in Nepal
- It states that the punishment of offenders who are sentenced to jail for one year or less can be suspended if the court deems it fit to do so
- The new penal code sets the duration of life term up to 25 years
- There is a provision of plea bargain where an accused can get a punishment waiver of up to 50% if he/she confesses to his/her crime and also reveals other persons involved in the offensive act
- The court will decided the magnitude of punishment within a month after the committed crime is determined
- The penal code also that manipulating and misleading circumstances/factors will also be taken into consideration while declaring the sentence
According to Lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari— a key person involved in drafting the laws, lawmakers have incorporated modern concepts and principles of laws and have also involved extra territorial jurisdiction on some issues.
“These laws are as important as the constitution and in some cases, even more than the constitution because they touch upon the lives of every citizen,” Adhikari added.
The two new codes will replace the 55-year old Nepal General Code.
We hope that the new laws will deliver the expected results and create a disciplined yet friendly-environment for the Himalayan Nation’s citizens.