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New Criminal Code act from August 18

By Our Reporter
At a time when the government has made all preparations to implement the New Criminal Code from Friday, a section of the society has objected to some provisions inserted in the new code. Similarly, the parliament is mulling over for changing its name to ‘Samhita’.
The Nepal Medical Association (NMA), the umbrella organization of the medical doctors, strongly objected to some provisions of the Criminal Code 2074 stating that the provisions were against the agreement reached between the government and the NMA.
The NMA said the provisions amount to label the services being rendered by health workers as crime and this has discouraged the doctors from doing their work effectively. In a statement issued on Monday, the NMA expressed its displeasure at the government’s move to enact such controversial law without considering the sensitivity of technical issues and against the internal standards. It even threatened to halt services if the provisions were not amended.
At the same time, the lawmakers have tabled amendment proposals to change its name.
The new criminal code is the amended form of the Criminal Code Act introduced some 53 years ago. In Nepal, first Criminal Code was introduced in 1853 during the time of Jung Bahadur Rana. Later king Mahendra replaced it with new one in 1963 making reforms. Ending caste discrimination was the important feature of the Criminal Code introduced by King Mahendra.
In the new criminal code, several reforms have been made in justice system. Ensuring property rights to women, increasing ages of marriageable men and women, new provision for men to seek divorce are some important feature of the new code. In previous code, men were denied the rights to seek divorce from their wives. Likewise, the new code has inserted stern provision to discourage polygamy, child marriage and rape.
However, the disputes surfaced a few days before the new code was into effect may compel the government to postpone the date of its implementation.

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