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Rediff.com  » News » Nepal SC upholds Maoist ban

Nepal SC upholds Maoist ban

By Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
March 24, 2006 18:31 IST
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In two significant decisions, Nepal's Supreme Court on Friday upheld a ban on the Maoists, paving the way for the monarchy to continue branding them as "terrorists" and gave credence to a controversial provision in an anti-terrorism law that allowed police to detain suspects for a year without trial.

A full Bench of the apex court comprising Justice Khil Raj Regmi, Justice Badri Kumar Basnet and Justice Gauri Dhakal quashed a petition by a Maoist sympathiser asking the court to withdraw the tag and questioning the constitutionality of the government decision (to ban the rebel outfit).

The Court said no sufficient evidence was produced to substantiate that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was a political party with constitutional recognition, officials in Kathmandu said.

The previous government had labeled the Maoists as terrorists and banned the outfit's activities in August 2003. In a separate verdict, the Supreme Court also ruled that the controversial provision in the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance, 2005, popularly known as TADO which allows security forces to detain any person suspected of terrorist activity for one year, is in keeping with the present constitution.

This gives sweeping power to security forces to grill political activists on the basis of suspicion and without any trial. The ordinance issued by King Gyanendra in 2005 allowing the state to detain any suspect for a year without trial.

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
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