Govt registers bill of Civil Code at Parliament ignoring the recognition of ‘third gender’
Madhav Dulal/Kathmandu (Pahichan), October 17 -The government has registered a draft of Civil Code at the Parliament with provisions that discriminates the Sexual minorities living in the country.
The Code registered at the Parliament Secretariat is contrary to the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007, which had issued a verdict that LGBTI persons (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex), or “third gender” persons, are ‘natural persons’ and have the right to enjoy the fundamental human rights guaranteed to all Nepali citizens.
Following the landmark verdict of the apex court, the Ministry of Home Affairs had circulated an order to the District Administration Offices to provide citizenship certificates specifying gender identity of LGBTI. As per the government’s direction, some local administrations have also been issuing citizenship for LGBTI persons using the designation ‘Other’.
Likewise, after the court’s verdict the government also formed a seven-member committee to study of same sex union/marriage. The committee is in its final stage for making the study report.
But, in the contrary to the court’s decision to remove or amend all discriminative laws, the government has registered the new Civil Code which does not recognise the hundreds of thousands of third gender citizens in the country. The proposed code allows the marriage between a male and a female only.
Likewise, as per the Code, only a son or a daughter has rights of property inheritance and people shall adopt only a son or daughter not a ‘child’, said LGBTI rights activist.
They have also charged the government of trying to eliminate the existence of sexual minorities in the country. LGBTI rights activist and a former lawmaker Sunilbabu Pant said the government attempt to criminalize same sex marriage, make a provision of property inheritance only for son and daughter and not to make a provision of ‘adoption of child’ is unfortunate. “By registering the Civil Code contrary to the Court’s decision and also at odds with international human rights, the government is trying to take back the country in a dark age,” he said.
Prem Bahadur Thapa, an advocate, said as the proposed draft is contrary to the Court’s decision; it makes the contempt of the court. However, the Ministry of Law Narahari Acharya argued the government has no intention of discriminating the minorities. “As per the suggestions received from various sectors, the law will be amended before endorsement,” he told Pahichan.