Kathmandu: President Ramchandra Paudel defended his move of granting pardon to the convicts who were serving jail sentences on various charges including murder. Citing the constitutional provision in which the President is not supposed to reject submission on any topic brought by the government after fulfilling all processes, he said that the constitutional provision states that as per the parliamentary system the government itself shall take the credit or blame for the decision made by the Council of Ministers.
President Paudel said this to a delegation comprising Rastriya Swatantra Party president Rabi Lamichhane that had drawn the president’s attention over granting pardon to convicts, on the occasion of the Constitution Day, of the remaining prison terms. He also reminded the delegation that he had questioned and turned back the letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs recommending granting general amnesty to 34 individuals. “I do not think that you do not understand our constitution, our republic and our parliamentary system. You are in parliament and the government is also in parliament. Why could not you make the Prime Minister, the Home Minister accountable in the parliament itself and straight away come here?” the President told the delegation.
“I have raised questions over the process and procedure regarding the 34 individuals whose names were recommended for pardon based on the constitutional provision of the President granting general amnesty as per the President’s wisdom and returned (the recommendation) back to the Home Ministry,” the president said. “As far as the topic of remission of the remaining prison term of 670 others is concerned, there is a constitutional provision that I will have to accept the topic decided upon by the Council of Ministers fulfilling the due process.”
In recent times, President Paudel has been criticized for granting pardon to convicts. Presidential pardon was granted to Resham Chaudhary, the convict of 2015 Tikapur massacre, along with 19 other convicts serving jail terms in May. Likewise, on September 20, the Constitution Day, the President granted amnesty to Yograj Dhakal, also known as Regal, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of Chetan Manandhar in Nepalgunj.