30 September, 2016, Kathmandu
“Eight Acts have been enacted over the last two years but non-implementation of these Acts hinders women and girls’ access to justice”, emphasized Ranju KumariJha, chairperson of the Parliamentarian Committee on Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare. Expressing dissatisfaction over the Government’s failure to prioritize the formulation of necessary regulations, she stressed the need for swift action and timely implementation of laws concerning rape cases and gender equality. She was speaking at the Judgment Watch Forum Series–II organized by the Justice and Rights Institute Nepal (JuRI-Nepal) in partnership with Women Lawyers Centre of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Sancharika Samuha, and IHRICON. JuRI-Nepal sets off its journey to continue a series of dialogues to unpack the underlying causes of the non-implementation and contribute to swift execution of the court verdicts relating to women and girls’ access to justice.
At the event, a paper titled, “The statute of Limitation on Rape Cases and Supreme Court Decisions,” was presented by advocate Pundevi Maharjan (Sujana). After an in-depth analysis of the three Supreme Court verdicts, she came to a conclusion that further extension is genuinely needed to ensure girls and women’s access to justice. She further, highlighted that the 35-days limitation to file rape case in the court was extended to six months after seven years of the Court Verdict. Consequently, many victims denied to legal remedies during this period. Advocate Maharjan further added, “In view of the gender diversity, the definition of rape case needs to be further broadened and treated as gender neutral.”
Referring research finding and the government response to the UPR recommendations, Ramesh Dhakal, Joint Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, requested all to examine whether the extended limitation promoted or restricted access to justice and it helps all to mull over. Advocate, Dr Sashi Adhikary, advocate Reeta Mainali, advocate Anju Upreti, SSP, Tarari Prasad Lamsal, rights activists and members from the legal fraternity shared their views and offered recommendations. The Judgment Watch Forum was convened by JuRI-Nepal under the Access to Justice Project supported by Governance Facility (GF). It was chaired by advocate Dr Sashi Adhikary and commenced with the welcome remark by Bhim Pariyar, vice chairperson of JuRI-Nepal.