Fundamental Rights in Nepal

This Article deals with the Fundamental Rights of the Current Nepalese Constitution, new rights included in this Constitution along with the Procedure to seek remedy, if violated.

What are the Fundamental Rights of the Nepalese Constitution?

Fundamental Rights are the Following Broad Categories of Enforceable Rights conferred to the Citizens of Nepal from Article 16 to Article 46 of the Constitution of Nepal :

1. Political Rights

2. Economic Rights

3. Social Rights

4. Cultural Rights

5. Indigenous Rights

They are Legally Enforceable in the Courts of Law, particularly the Supreme Court and High Court, if violated. Furthermore, Relevant Legislations were introduced to complement the Fundamental Rights within 2075 B.S.

How many Fundamental Rights are there in Nepal?

Nepal has Thirty-One Fundamental Rights: Dignity, freedom, equality, communication, justice, victim’s, torture-free, preventive detention-free, anti-untouchability, property, religious, information, privacy, anti-exploitation, clean environment, education, language/culture, employment, labor, health, food, housing, women’s, children’s, Dalit’s, senior citizens’, social justice, social security, consumer protection, no exile, constitutional remedies.

What are the New Fundamental Rights of the Constitution of Nepal?

The New Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of Nepal but omitted in Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 are:

Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063Constitution of Nepal 2072
Right to freedom
Right to equality
Right against untouchability and racial discrimination
Rights regarding publication, broadcasting, and press
Rights regarding environment and health
Education and cultural rights
Rights regarding employment and social security
Right to property
Rights of women
Right to social justice
Rights of children
Right to religion
Rights regarding justice
Right against preventive detention
Right against torture
Right to information
Right to privacy
Right against exploitation
Right Regarding labor
Right against exile
Right to constitutional remedy  
Right to live with dignity
Right to freedom
Right to equality
Right to communication
Rights relating to justice
Right of victim of crime
Right against torture
Right against preventive detention
Right against untouchability and discrimination
Right relating to property
Right to freedom of religion
Right to information
Right to privacy
Right against exploitation
Right to clean environment
Right relating to education
Right to language and culture
Right to employment
Right to labor
Right relating to health
Right relating to food
Right to housing
Rights of women
Rights of the child
Rights of Dalit
Rights of senior citizens
Right to social justice
Right to social security
Rights of the consumer
Right against exile
Right to constitutional remedies  

List of Fundamental Rights of Nepal

  1. Right to live with dignity: Every person has the fundamental right to live a life of dignity, and laws prohibiting the death penalty are upheld.
  2. Right to freedom: Individuals have the right to personal liberty, including freedoms of expression, assembly, political association, union formation, movement, residence, and profession, subject to reasonable restrictions to safeguard national sovereignty, public order, morality, and inter-group harmony.
  3. Right to equality: All citizens are equal before the law, and no discrimination is allowed based on origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, sex, economic condition, language, or region, with special provisions permitted for the empowerment of disadvantaged groups.
  4. Right to communication: Censorship of media is prohibited, with reasonable restrictions allowed to preserve national sovereignty, public order, morality, and prevent incitement to offenses or discrimination.
  5. Rights relating to justice: Fundamental rights include being informed of arrest grounds, consulting legal counsel, fair trial, and free legal aid, with protections against double jeopardy and self-incrimination.
  6. Right of victim of crime: Crime victims have rights to information, justice, social rehabilitation, and compensation.
  7. Right against torture: Protection against physical or mental torture, with legal remedies and compensation for victims.
  8. Right against preventive detention: Preventive detention is limited to immediate threats to national sovereignty or public order, with safeguards against abuse and compensation for wrongful detention.
  9. Right against untouchability and discrimination: Prohibition of untouchability and discrimination, with penalties for violations and rights to compensation for victims.
  10. Right relating to property: Citizens have rights to acquire, own, and dispose of property, with limitations for public interest and provisions for compensation.
  11. Right to freedom of religion: Freedom of religion and protection of religious sites, with limitations to prevent public harm or religious coercion.
  12. Right to information: Citizens have the right to demand and receive information on matters of public interest, except where confidentiality is legally required.
  13. Right to privacy: Protection of personal privacy and confidentiality, except as permitted by law.
  14. Right against exploitation: Protection against exploitation, including trafficking, slavery, forced labor, with legal penalties and compensation for victims.
  15. Right to clean environment: Citizens have the right to a clean environment, with compensation for environmental harm and balanced development laws.
  16. Right relating to education: Citizens have rights to basic and free education, with special provisions for the disabled and disadvantaged groups.
  17. Right to language and culture: Every individual and community has the right to use their languages, participate in cultural life, and preserve and promote their language, script, culture, and heritage.
  18. Right to employment: Citizens have the right to employment and to choose their employment, with terms, conditions, and unemployment benefits regulated by federal law.
  19. Right to labor: Laborers have the right to practice suitable labor, receive fair remuneration, facilities, contributory social security, form trade unions, and engage in collective bargaining, as per the law.
  20. Right relating to health: Citizens have the right to free basic health services, emergency health services, access to medical information, equal access to health services, clean drinking water, and sanitation.
  21. Right relating to food: Citizens have the right to food security, protection from food scarcity, and food sovereignty in accordance with the law.
  22. Right to housing: Every citizen has the right to appropriate housing, with protections against eviction or infringement except as per the law.
  23. Rights of women: Women have equal lineage rights, rights to safe motherhood, protection from violence and exploitation, participation in governance, special opportunities in education, health, employment, and equal property rights.
  24. Rights of the child: Children have rights to identity, education, health, care, protection from exploitation, and access to juvenile-friendly justice, with special provisions for vulnerable children.
  25. Rights of Dalit: Dalit have rights to participation in governance, education, health, social security, protection of traditional occupations, land provision, settlement, and equitable distribution of benefits.
  26. Rights of senior citizens: Senior citizens have rights to special protection and social security from the state.
  27. Right to social justice: Socially backward groups have rights to inclusive participation in governance, special opportunities and benefits in various sectors, equal access to public services, protection of diversity, and prioritized opportunities for justice and development.
  28. Right to social security: Indigent citizens, incapacitated individuals, helpless single women, disabled citizens, and vulnerable tribal communities have the right to social security in accordance with the law.
  29. Rights of the consumer: Consumers have rights to quality goods and services, with compensation for injuries caused by substandard goods or services.
  30. Right against exile: No citizen shall be exiled from the country.
  31. Right to constitutional remedies: Citizens have the right to obtain constitutional remedies for the enforcement of rights conferred by this part, as outlined in Articles 133 or 144.

What is the Process of Obtaining Remedy for Fundamental Rights in Nepal?

Step 1: File Case in Supreme Court or High Court

Step 2: Registration and Hearing of Case

Step 3: Court Judgement

Step 4: Compensation

The Court Procedure for obtaining remedy if Fundamental Rights have been encroached in Nepal are:

Step 1: File Case in Supreme Court or High Court

Initially, under the circumstances where the Fundamental Rights have been encroached, the cases must be filed to Supreme Court or High Court through Article 46, Article 133 and/or Article 144 of the Constitution of Nepal.

Step 2: Registration and Hearing of Case

Thereafter, the Case Registrar prudently decides whether the case can be applicable and whether the provisions mentioned are relevant along with the matter of whether the individual fulfills the Locus Standi.

Step 3: Court Judgement

After the Due Registration of Case and Due Process of Law, the Court provides the Final Judgement. In conditions where the case was registered to the High Court, it can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Conclusion

The Fundamental Rights of the Nepalese Constitution can be broadly categorized political, economic, social, cultural, and indigenous rights, totaling thirty-one. To seek remedy for rights violations, individuals can file cases in the Supreme Court or High Court under Articles 46, 133, or 144, followed by case registration, hearing, and court judgment, which can be appealed to the Supreme Court if initially filed in the High Court.

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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