Discussion to amend ‘discriminatory clauses’ of proposed Civil Code on cards

Kathmandu (Pahichan) December 12 – Legislation Committee of the Parliament is all set to hold discussion on the proposals that were filed seeking amendment to some provisions of proposed new Penal and Civil Code. Following a detailed study on proposals, the committee will forward the proposed draft with recommendations to the house for clause-wise discussion.

Over 130 proposals were registered at the Parliament secretariat seeking amendment in various topics including legal recognition of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual) community.

Filing their proposals on behalf of LGBTI people, lawmakers have asked amendment on clauses on marriage in the civil code bill that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman as husband and wife. The definition neglects gender minority.

Turning a deaf ear to the voices of sexual minorities, the much-awaited civil code draft also ignored the landmark verdict of Supreme Court, which a seven-years-ago had directed the government to ensure rights of the sexual minorities, including their right to marry whomever they choose.

Around a dozen of lawmakers including Gagan Thapa, Rajib Bikram Shah and Bal Krishna Khand from Nepali Congress; Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel of CPN UML; Ram Narayan Bidari of UCPN Maoist; Siva Lal Thapa of Rashtriya Janamukti Party and Hari Charan Shah of Nepali Janata Dal among others have filed  their reservations against the discriminatory clauses.

Lawmakers have urge to replace the terms “man” and “woman” with “individual(s)” and “husband” and “wife” with “two people in a marital state”.

“Being silent on the issue of same-sex marriage, the proposed new Civil Code has discriminated the people on the basis of their sexual orientation. Therefore, we filed the amendment proposal,” UML lawmaker Pokhrel told Pahichan.

UCPN Maoist lawmaker Bidari also said the government and political party should now make a clear vision about marriage. “No one should be discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation,” he added.

Minister for Law Narahari Acharya on November 3 had tabled a bill on the proposed, revised and amended Muluki Ain, the general code of the country in the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament for consideration.

The General Code includes the Civil Code-2071, Civil Procedure Code-2071, Criminal Code-2071, Criminal Procedure Code-2071 and Criminal Offence (Punishment Determination and Implementation) bill.