Features of The Muluki Criminal Code 2074

What is Muluki Criminal Code?

The Muluki Criminal Code, formally referred to as The National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 (2074), was enacted with the purpose of establishing a unified legal structure for criminal offenses and to amend and consolidate existing legislation pertaining to such offenses. In order to prevent and control criminal offenses while upholding moral and ethical values, decency, etiquette, and convenience, the Code has been promulgated to preserve law and order in the nation.

Who introduced Muluki Criminal Code 2074?

In accordance with Article 296 of the Constitution of Nepal, the Chief Legislative Body of Nepal, formerly referred to as the Legislature-Parliament, enacted the Criminal Code.

When was Muluki Criminal Code 2074 Implemented?

The Muluki Criminal Code 2074 was authenticated on 16th October 2017 and applied throughout Nepal on 17th August 2018.

What are the Major Laws of the Criminal Code?

Offences against State

Muluki Criminal Code has prohibited undermining sovereignty, integrity or national unity. It has outlawed Sedition, Acting Against National Interest and Genocide as well. Furthermore, it has been prohibited from waging war against Nepal, assiting army of a State at war with Nepal, Waging War or Insurrection against Friendly State, Provocating Army or Police, Espionage. The Code has also prohibited assaulting on President, intimidation of President or Parliament.

Offences relating to Marriage

The Following types of Marriage have been criminalized in Nepal:

  • Marriage without Consent
  • Marriage in Prohibited Degree of Relationship
  • Child Marriage
  • Transacting Property in Marriage
  • Bigamy

Offences relating to Human Body

The Following Prohibitions has been established in relation to Human Body:

  • Prohibition of doing act with the intention of causing death
  • Prohibition of doing act likely to cause death
  • Prohibition of causing death by grave provocation or in heat of passion
  • Punishment for homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was intended
  • Prohibition of causing death by recklessness
  • Prohibition of causing death by negligence
  • Prohibition of committing attempt to murder
  • Prohibition of throwing or abandoning person under one’s own guardianship
  • Prohibition of abetment of suicide

Sexual Offences

Muluki Criminal Code has laid down several sexual offences:

  • Committing Rape
  • Incest
  • Sexual Intercourse with Detainee
  • Sexual intercourse with person in one’s own protection or security
  • Sexual intercourse with person in office or receiving professional service
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Unnatural Sexual Intercourse
  • Bestiality

Offences relating to Property

The Code has laid down laws prohibiting the following criminal offences:

  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Movement Carrying Tools to be used in Commission of Theft
  • Pickpocketing
  • Cheating
  • Criminal Breach of Trust
  • Extortion
  • Criminal Misappropriation of Property

Offences against Privacy

The Following Offences against Privacy has been established:

  • Prohibition of listening to or recording other’s conversation
  • Prohibition of divulging confidential matter
  • Prohibition of taking or disfiguring photograph of any person without his or her consent
  • Prohibition of giving or selling one’s photograph to another without consent
  • Prohibition of opening letters or tapping telephone conversation
  • Prohibition of breaching privacy through electronic means
  • Prohibition of deceitfully making telephone calls or transmitting messages
  • Prohibition of writing letters with dishonest intention of causing annoyance
  • Prohibition to search other’s body
  • Prohibition of unauthorized entry into other’s residence

What are the Punishment in Nepal according to Criminal Code?

Imprisonment for Life

Those who receive the life sentence are required to reside in prison for the entirety of their incarceration.


Imprisonment is the predominant form of Punishment in Muluki Criminal Code. The Individuals are expected to spend a certain period within Prisons for the violation of the Code.


Imprisonment is accompanied with Fines. In general, fines are proportional to the term of imprisonment. The penal value for one year of imprisonment, as stipulated in the Criminal Code, is NPR 10,000/-.  


Compensation is another form of Punishment for Criminal Offences, provided to the victims of the Crime.

Imprisonment for Failure to Pay Fine or Compensation

When individuals neglect to remit fines or compensation in response to their criminal offenses, the consequence is imprisonment. The maximum term of such imprisonment is ten years.

Community Service in lieu of Imprisonment

If Individuals have a shorter form of Imprisonment, it is convert to Community Service in lieu of Imprisonment.

What are the Major Features of the Criminal Code?

General Principles of Criminal Justice

  • Lawful act not to be an offense
  • Not punishment except following law
  • Act is done by mistake of fact not to be an offense
  • No punishment again for the same offense
  • No deprivation of fair trial
  • No compulsion to testify against oneself
  • Presumption of innocence until proven guilty
  • Act of a child not to be an offense
  • Act of a person of unsound mind not to be an offense
  • Act done by consent not to be an offense
  • Act done for benefit by consent not to be an offense
  • Act done for benefit by consent of guardian not to be an offense
  • Act done for benefit without consent not to be an offense
  • To be considered an offense even committed by consent
  • Consent
  • Harm caused by communication made in good faith not to be an offense
  • Act compelled by fear, a threat not to be an offense
  • Act done in good faith to prevent other harm, injury not to be an offense
  • Act done for private defense not considered to be an offense
  • Restriction on the exercise of right of private defense
  • No right to cause death
  • Act causing slight harm not to be an offense
  • Major liable to punishment for the offense caused to be committed by a child
  • Criminal intention not to be examined in strict liability offense
  • Criminal liability for an offense committed by a body corporate to be vested in one who commits or causes the commission of the act
  • All members are to be punished for an offense committed by a group
  • Victim of crime to be entitled to obtain information of proceedings of case and compensation

Inchoate Offences

Criminal conspiracy, attempt, abetment, and accomplice are prohibited under the law.

Section 33 of the Criminal Code has outlawed Criminal Conspiracy. If two or more people agree to commit an offense and any one or two of them take action, it is considered a criminal conspiracy. The Punishment for Criminal Conspiracy is contingent on factors such as whether the offense was committed, the type of offense committed or if multiple offense were committed. If the Criminal Conspiracy remained incomplete, half of the intended punishment is bestowed.

Section 34 of National Penal Code has outlawed Attempt. No person shall attempt to commit an offense. Even if the offense is impossible to commit, attempting it is still considered a crime. Punishment for attempting to commit an offense is half of the punishment specified for that offense.

Abetment has been outlawed in Section 35 of the Criminal Code. Instigating another person to commit an offense is considered abetment. If a different offense is committed due to the abetment, the abettor is liable for punishment as if they had committed that offense as well. Punishment for abetment depends on whether the offense is committed or not, ranging from the punishment for the offense committed to half of the punishment specified for the offense if it’s not committed.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating Factors have been laid down in Section 38 of the Muluki Criminal Code:

  • Offense against President or Head of Government
  • Offense committed in presence of President/Head of Government/Foreign State Head
  • Breach of Trust
  • Exploiting Public Office
  • Obstructing Public Official during duty
  • Offense in Govt/Public/Religious Place
  • Offense by group of 5 or more
  • Exploiting public calamities
  • Use of weapons/toxic substances/explosives
  • Recidivism
  • Promises of remuneration or undue benefits
  • Offense against individual under protection or property in custody
  • Involvement of torture/cruel treatment
  • Multiple offenses on single occasion
  • Offenses against multiple persons on single occasion
  • Kidnapping or Hostage Taking
  • Offense against individual under Detention/Custody/Imprisonment/Guardianship
  • Offense by security provider
  • Intention to compromise identity based on caste/race/religion
  • Crimes against Humanity
  • Planned and organized offenses
  • Offenses against Vulnerable Individuals
  • Offense by individual engaged in Rescue Work
  • Subsequent offense against Previous Victim

Mitigating Factors

Mitigating Factors has been laid down in Section 39 of the Muluki Criminal Code:

  • Offender below 18 or above 75 years
  • Lack of mens rea or intent
  • Provocation or threat from victim
  • Retaliation to prevent heinous crime
  • Confession or remorse
  • Voluntary surrender to authorities
  • Compensation to victim
  • Offender’s diminished capacity
  • Limited harm caused
  • Aiding judicial process with truthful testimony
  • Acceptance of guilt and promise to refrain from future crime
  • Crime committed under duress or coercion


Section 40 of the National Penal Code has laid down the types of Punishment in Nepal for criminal offences:

(a) Imprisonment for life,

(b) Imprisonment,

(c) Fine,

(d) Imprisonment and fine,

(e) Compensation,

(f) Imprisonment for the failure to pay a fine or compensation,

(g) Community service in lieu of imprisonment.

Remission of Sentence

The remission of sentence allows for up to fifty percent reduction in the punishment for an offender who confesses to their crime and assists in evidence collection or apprehension of others involved. However, certain offenders are not eligible for this reduction, including those who have already received such remission, those convicted of another offense within three years of completing their sentence, and those previously sentenced for a similar offense. When granting remission, factors such as the timing and circumstances of the confession are considered.

How to File a Case as per the Criminal Code?

Step 1: Filing of First Information Report

The process begins with the filing of the First Information Report (FIR), signaling the occurrence of a potential criminal offense. This report can be submitted orally, in writing, or electronically to the nearest police station.

Step 2: Filing of Charge Sheet

The government attorney files a charge sheet, detailing the reasons for charges, evidence, and other relevant information.

Step 3: Preliminary Hearing and Order of Detention

The court decides whether to maintain custody or grant bail, based on the charge sheet and circumstances.

Step 4: Notification of Defendant

The defendant is informed of the lawsuit date, with warrants issued for fugitives.

Step 6: Evidence and Witness Collection and Examination

Evidence obtained is examined in court, subject to challenge by the opposing party. Witnesses, including experts, testify in court.

Step 7: Court Judgement

The judge reviews evidence and testimony before issuing a verdict within a month.


The Muluki Criminal Code, also known as The National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 (2074), was established to unify criminal laws in Nepal. It was authenticated on October 16, 2017, and implemented nationwide on August 17, 2018. The Major Offenses covered by the Code are: offenses against the state, marriage-related crimes, offenses against the human body, sexual offenses, property crimes, privacy violations, and punishment measures such as imprisonment, fines, compensation, and community service.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement, personal communication or solicitation. Specific advice of professionals must be sought for each case.

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