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Concept Of Fundamental Rights In The Constitution Of Nepal

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Concept of Fundamental Rights

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Fundamental rights are group of rights that is being recognized by the Supreme Court. It is fair and legal. Fundamental rights are rights to human beings. It is applicable to all the citizens of the Country. Fundamental rights are guaranteed by the Constitutions of a particular Country. It is specific and obligatory.

The term "Fundamental Rights" can be defined as the basic human rights of all the citizens. It is very essential for an individual for his /her development. The reason to include such rights in the Constitution is that they are not violated by the state through any act of its own through any legislation. The Interim Constitution has encoded 21 fundamental rights. These rights are - right to freedom, right to equality, right against approachability and racial discrimination, rights regarding publication, broadcasting and press, rights regarding environment and health, right to 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 labour, right against exile, and right to constitutional remedy.

As we know that the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 /2063 has held the election of a Constituent Assembly. It enabled to write Nepal's permanent constitution. The new constitution was to be promulgated by May 28, 2010, by the elected house. Due to disagreements between political parties on several issues, among other things, the house was not able to do the assigned job.

On May 28, 2012, the Constituent Assembly was dissolved, after it failed to finish the constitution drafting process despite repeated extensions. The four years of constitution was draft and the country was left in a constitutional vacuum. New elections were held on November 19, 2013 to elect the Constituent Assembly - II on a special arrangement agreed by the political parties and approved by the President. The new Assembly expressly committed that the new constitution would be promulgated on January 22, 2015. However, due to continued differences on key issues including system of governance, judicial system and federation issues like number, name and areas of the provinces to be carved, the constitution could not be finalized and promulgated in time. Only now, it become possible to finalize and adopt the Constitution. Some of the Fundamental rights according to the Constitution are as follows:

1.Right to Freedom:

Except as provided for by law no person shall be deprived of her/his personal liberty.

Every citizen shall have the following freedoms:

  1. freedom of opinion and expression,
  2. freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms,
  3. freedom to form political party,
  4. freedom to form unions and associations,
  5. freedom to move and reside in any part of Nepal; and
  6. freedom to engage in any occupation or be engaged in employment, establish and operate industry, trade, and business in any part of Nepal.

Provided that,

  1. Nothing in sub-clause (a) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the nationality, sovereignty, independence and indivisibility of Nepal, or federal units, or jeopardizes the harmonious relations subsisting among the people of various caste, ethnicity, religion, or communities, or incites racial discrimination, or untouchability, or disrespects labour, or any act of defamation, or contempt of court, or an incitement of offence, or is contrary to decent public behavior or morality.
  2. Nothing in sub-clause (b) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the nationality, sovereignty, independence and indivisibility of Nepal, or jeopardize the harmonious relations between federal units, or public law and order situation.
  3. Nothing in sub-clause (c) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the nationality, sovereignty, indivisibility of Nepal, or an act of espionage against the nation, or disclosing national secrets, or helping foreign state or organization that may jeopardize Nepalese security, or an act of treason, or an act that undermines the harmonious relations subsisting between federal units, or instigates communal animosity, or jeopardizes the harmonious relations subsisting among different caste, ethnicity, religious groups and Draft of the Constitution of Nepal.
  4. Nothing in sub-clause (d) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the nationality, sovereignty, indivisibility or Nepal, or an act of espionage against the nation, or disclosing national secrets, or helping foreign state or organization that may jeopardize Nepalese security.
  5. Nothing in sub-clause (e) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the interest of the general public, or the good relations between federal units, or the harmonious relations subsisting among various caste groups, ethnicity, religious groups or communities, or an act of committing crime or violence, or inciting such acts.
  6. Nothing in sub-clause (f) shall be deemed to prevent the making of an Act to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the good relations between federal units, or restricting an act which may have negative impact on public health, decent behavior and morality, or the particular industries, trade, business or services which only the state may engage in, or setting conditions or eligibility to engage in industries, trade, business, livelihoods or occupation.

2. Right to equality:

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  1. All citizens shall be equal before law. No person shall be denied the equal protection of law.
  2. There shall be no discrimination in the application of general laws on the grounds of origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, sex, physical conditions, disability, health condition, matrimonial status, pregnancy, economic condition, language or geographical region, or ideology or any other such grounds.
  3. The state shall not discriminate among citizens on grounds of origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, sex, physical condition, disability, health conditions, matrimonial status, pregnancy, economic condition, language or geographical region, ideology and such other matters. Provided that nothing shall be deemed to prevent the making of special provisions by law for the protection, empowerment or advancement of the women lagging behind socially and culturally, Dalits, Adibasi (indigenous groups), Madhesi, Tharus, Muslims, oppressed class, backward communities, minorities, marginalized groups, peasants, labourers, youths, children, senior citizens, sexual minorities, persons with disability, incapacitated and the helpless persons.
  4. There shall not be any gender discriminations regarding remuneration for the same work and social security.
  5. There shall be no gender discrimination regarding the right to parental.

3. Rights against untouchability and discrimination:

  1. No person shall be treated with any kind of untouchability or discrimination in any private or public place on grounds of caste, ethnicity, origin, community, occupation, or physical condition.
  2. No person belonging to a particular caste or ethnicity shall be prevented from buying an object or getting services or facilities in the process of production of such objects or in the distribution or delivery of services, or no such objects shall be sold to, or facilities or services distributed or delivered to persons belonging to a particular caste or ethnicity only.
  3. Racial discriminations shall not be encouraged in any way, or there shall not be any behavioral attitude to exhibit high or low status on grounds of a particular caste, ethnicity or community, or physical condition of a person, or there shall not be any behavioral attitude that justifies social discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, or untouchability, or encouragement for the propagation of attitudes based on caste superiority and untouchability, or hatred.
  4. There shall not be any racial discrimination in the workplace by indulging or not indulging in untouchability. (5) All forms of untouchability or discrimination contrary to this provision shall be punishable by law as a serious social crime, and the victim of such an act shall have the right to compensation as provided for by law.

4. Right to Property:

  1. Every citizen shall, subject to laws, have the right to acquire, enjoy own, sell, have professional gains, and otherwise utilize, or dispose property. Explanation: For the purpose of this Article, “property” means all type of movable and immovable property and the word also includes intellectual property. Provided that the state may impose tax on property and income of a person according to the norms of progressive tax.
  2. The State shall not, except in the public interest, acquire, requisition, or create any encumbrance on the property of any person. Draft of the Constitution of Nepal, Unofficial English Translation by International IDEA - 10 - Provided that this sub-clause shall not be applicable to property acquired through illegal means.
  3. In the case when the land of a person is acquisitioned by the State according to sub-clause (2), the basis of compensation and the relevant procedure shall be as prescribed by Act.
  4. The provisions of clauses (2) and (3) shall not obstruct the state in carrying out land reforms, management and regulation by law in order to increase the production and productivity of land, modernize the agriculture and make it professional, environment protection and managed housing and urban development.
  5. In case the state has acquired property of any person for public interest pursuant to clause (3), there shall be no hindrance to use such property for any other public interest.

5. Right to religious freedom:

  1. Each person shall be free to profess, practice, and preserve his/her religion according to his/her faith.
  2. Every religious denomination shall, maintaining its independent existence, have the right to manage and protect its religious places and religious trusts in accordance with law. Provided that it shall not be deemed to have hindered to make law to operate and protect a religious place or religious trust and to manage the trust property and land.
  3. While exercising the right as provided for by this Article, no person shall act or make others act in a manner which is contrary to public health, decency, and morality, or behave or act or make others act to disturb public law and order situation, or convert a person of one religion to another religion, or disturb the religion of other people. Such an act shall be punishable by law.

6. Right to information:

Every citizen shall have the right to seek information on any matters of concern to her/him or the public. Provided that nothing shall be deemed to compel any person to provide information about which confidentiality is to be maintained according to law.

7. Right to privacy:

Except in circumstances provided by law, privacy in relation to the person, and their residence, property, documents, records, statistics and correspondence, and their reputation are inviolable.

8.Rights against exploitation:

Every person shall have the right against exploitation. (2) No person shall be subjected to any kind of exploitation on the basis of religion, custom, tradition, culture, practices or any other base.

9. Right of Children:

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  1. Each child shall have the right to his/her identity with the family name, and birth registration.
  2. Every child shall have the right to education, health care nurturing, appropriate upbringing, sports, recreation and overall personality development from family and the State.
  3. Every child shall have the right to formative child development, and child participation.
  4. No child shall be employed in factories, mines, or in any other hazardous works.
  5. No child shall be subjected to child marriage, illegal trafficking, kidnapping, or being held, hostage.
  6. No child shall be subjected to recruitment or any kind of use in the army, police or armed groups, neglected, or used immorally, or abused physically, mentally, or sexually, or exploited through any other means, in the name of religious or cultural practices.
  7. No child shall be subjected to physical, mental, or any other forms of torture at home, in school, or in any other places or situations.
  8. Every child shall have the right to child-friendly justice.
  9. Children who are helpless, orphaned, physically impaired, victims of conflict and vulnerable, shall have the right to special protection and facilities from the State.
  10. Any act contrary to Clause (4), (5), (6) and (7) shall be punishable by law, and children who have suffered from such an act shall have the right to be compensated by the perpetrator as provided for in law.

Human rights

Human rights are the rights of all human beings. We all have equal human rights without discrimination. Human right does not matter of our nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

The rights of human beings are expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways, in order to promote and protect human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  1. Right to be free and equal. We all love to be free. We should all be treated equally and nicely.
  2. The right to life. We all have the right to life. We all like to live in freedom and safety.
  3. Never discriminate people. Never discriminate people in terms of caste, race, poor, rich etc.
  4. Everyone have the same right to use the law. We all should know that " I am a person just like you!"
  5. We are all protected by the law. The law protect us. It is same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
  6. No slavery – past and present. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.
  7. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
  8. The right to privacy. We all have privacy in our life. Nobody has the right to come into our home, bother us or our family without a good reason.
  9. Freedom to move. We all have the right to move to where ever we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
  10. The right to education. Education is a right of everyone. Primary education should be free in our Country. The Government should provide quality education for the people and bring the different programs related to education.
  11. The right to nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.
  12. Marriage and family. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.
  13. Free to say what you want. We all have the right to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
  14. The right to democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.
  15. The right to social security. We all have the right to medicine, education, and child care, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old. (SAMARITANMAG)

References;

Binay Devkota, and Leelawati Khadka. Acharya, B.B. Mass Communication. Kathmandu, Nepal: Pradhan Book House, Exhibition Road, Kathmandu, Nepal, First Edition 2066(2009). 297 - 305. Electronic.

SAMARITANMAG. Copyright 2012. Electronic. 20 09 2016. http://www.samaritanmag.com/we-have-30-basic-human-rights-do-you-know-them



  1. Fundamental rights are the  group of rights that is being recognized by the Supreme Court.
  2. Fundamental rights are guaranteed by the Constitutions of a particular Country. It is specific and obligatory.
  3. The term "Fundamental Rights" can be defined as the constitutionally guaranteed human rights.
  4. The Interim Constitution has encoded 21 fundamental rights. 
  5.  Right to Freedom: Except as provided for by law no person shall be deprived of her/his personal liberty.
  6. Right to equality: All citizens shall be equal before the  law. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the  law.
  7. There shall not be any racial discrimination in the workplace.
  8. Every citizen has the right to acquire, enjoy own, sell, have professional gains, and otherwise utilize, or dispose of property.
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