Even 19 months after the enactment of Police Integration Act-2019, the whole integration process of Nepal Police into Province Police Office has failed to gather momentum.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has formed an Integration Committee headed by the Joint Secretary from Administration Division of the Ministry. However, the Committee has remained silent as the political leadership has not yet given the officials a green signal.
At present, Joint Secretary Govinda Prasad Rijal heads the Committee. Earlier, Joint Secretary Ghanshyam Upadhyaya was its coordinator. After Minister for Home Affairs Bal Krishna Khand took charge as the Minister, Upadhyaya was transferred from the Administration Division to the Internal Management Division.
Other members of the Committee include Joint Secretary Kamal Raj Dhakal, DIG Ishwar Babu Karki, Under Secretary Rudra Pandit, SP duo Prabin Pokhrel and Dilip Ghimire.
Even the meeting of the Committee has not been held for about four months. The meeting held on July 30, 2020, in the presence of the former prime minister KP Sharma Oli along with its officials had endorsed the report of the integration, paving the way for implementation.
Coordinator of the Committee Rijal said that internal preparations have been going on to take the process ahead. “However, no specific progress has been made as of now,” he said.
It has already been one-and-a-half years of the promulgation of Nepal Police (Operation, Supervision and Coordination) Act-2019 and Police Integration Act-2019. Similarly, Nepal Police Service Regulation has yet to be enacted.
The draft of separate Police Act, which was drafted in 2016, is now stuck in the Council of Ministers, according to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and spokesperson for the Police Headquarters Basanta Bahadur Kunwar.
Former DIG Hemanta Malla said that there would be no problem in going for integration despite the absence of regulation. Malla said, “A new Police Act and the regulation don’t need to be promulgated immediately as the integration, transfer and promotion can be done by the Integration Act itself.” However, to the dismay of many, the Police Integration Act, although enacted, has not been implemented yet, he said.
Former DIG Ramesh Prasad Kharel blamed the over six-decade-old Nepal Police Act, 1956, for the delay in the integration process. While the country has moved into federal system, the archaic act has been unable to keep abreast of new developments.
Dharma Raj Kuinkel, Joint Secretary for the Law Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the draft of the new Federal Police Act, which was drafted in 2016, has now reached the Council of Ministers.
“A new Police Act is needed for the transfer and promotion after police integration, but the police leadership and the home administration have not shown any interest in this regard,” said Kharel.
Former AIG Rajendra Singh Bhandari also said that the integration process from the political, police and internal leaderships inside the Police Headquarters could not move smoothly unless the government adjusted its organisational structure and manpower properly.
Out of a total of 54,720 existing vacancies in Nepal Police, the government had already decided to integrate 10,717 in Province 1; 9,152 in Province 2; 7,304 in Bagmati Province; 6,745 in Gandaki Province; 9,443 in Lumbini Province; 5,458 in Karnali Province; and 5,901 in Sudur Paschim Province. The Province Police Office is to be headed by a DIG. Integration of police personnel from private up to DSP level only is mandated in the integration.
Source : TRN,