House to be appraised of President’s message today

After President Bidya Devi Bhandari returned the much-debated Citizenship Bill with a message to review on Sunday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to be informed about the message on Tuesday.

Publishing a tentative schedule of the House business, Gopalnath Yogi, Secretary at the Federal Parliament Secretariat, informed on Monday that the House would be apprised of the message tomorrow. The President on Sunday returned the Citizenship Bill to the House of Representatives to reconsider some of its provisions.

The bill was forwarded to the Office of the President for the final certification after its endorsement from both the Houses of the Federal Parliament arrived in the parliament secretariat with a message for a review Sunday evening.

Subsequently, the House secretariat made the message available to journalists on Monday.

In her 9-page message, President Bhandari has raised some serious concerns about the arrangements made in the bill to amend the Citizenship Act 2063 BS. The President said that the mother should be kept at the centre in the arrangements.

“Gender equality guidelines of the Constitution says it is relevant to reconsider the citizenship obtained through the name of the mother so that the mother is kept at the centre, reconsider it,” reads the message.

Drawing the attention of the Federal Parliament, President Bhandari said that if the mother’s privacy regarding reproduction is recorded in front of the children and state agencies through a ‘self-declaration about the father’ during the child’s acquisition of citizenship, the struggle to end the long-standing discrimination against women may fail.

The message stated that the provisions related to self-declaration, which was to be left out while making the regulations, should be addressed in the Citizenship Act. President Bhandari has included 15 points in total in her message.

The House of Representatives had endorsed the ‘Citizenship Bill (1st Amendment-2079)’ with majority votes after a whole day deliberation in the full House of the Federal Parliament on July 22, rejecting 45 amendment proposals. The Upper House passed it on July 28, a week after it was endorsed by the Lower House.

Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota also consulted with Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand about the message received from the President. “We will deal with the case lawfully following some meetings among the stakeholders,” Speaker told The Rising Nepal.

The bill was passed maintaining political consensus among the parties of the ruling alliance. Speaker Sapkota verified the bill on July 31 and forwarded it to the President seeking final certification. A bill turns into a law only after it is certified by the President.

However, the President sent the bill back to the House of Representatives after keeping it for 14 days.

The government had withdrawn the ‘Citizenship bill (1st Amendment) -2018’ from the House of Representatives on July 8 this year and registered a new bill drafted in the parliament secretariat the same day.

Source : TRN,