KATHMANDU, Feb 1: The Supreme Court on Wednesday scrapped the guidelines for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for putting complaints it has received on hold.
Giving a final ruling on a writ petition filed by 15 conflict victims, including Binaydhoj Chand and advocate Gyanendra Aran, a division bench of Justices Jagadish Sharma Paudel and Deepak Kumar Karki stated that setting up the guidelines without mentioning the provisions of the relevent Act or regulations would not make the guidelines effective.
Earlier, a single bench of Justice Hari Krishna Karki on September 30, 2016 issued an interim order not to implement the guidelines until the court's ruling.
Conflict victims had filed the writ petition at the apex court in September, asking for the interim order and annulments to the guidelines. The victims had claimed that the guidelines went against the principle of transitional justice and several of its provisions were designed to provide amnesty to the perpetrators of heinous crimes committed during the insurgency. They had also argued that the guidelines were controversial and illegal.
The petitioners claimed that the guidelines called for putting cases on hold on grounds of lack of evidence or adequate details. They also claimed that the guidelines called for putting on hold even insurgency-era cases if these were found not to be directly related to the conflict parties -- the security forces and the insurgents.
The TRC had been claiming that the guidelines were prepared as per the TRC Act. The commission had also been claiming that the guidelines put on hold only cases that are beyond its jurisdiction, and that the victims had moved the courts out of a faulty understanding.
The commission had brought the guidelines into effect in August 2016. The TRC has received 57,753 complaints from conflict victims so far.