Mahato misreads constitutional provisions on altering provincial boundaries
Sujit Mainali / May 16, 2018
Rajendra Mahato, a member of the presidium of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), commenting on the Constitution of Nepal 2015 said the following in a video interview published on CanadaNepal on May 14:
“The constitution should not be rigid on provincial boundaries. Constitution should address the demands of the people regarding province numbers and boundaries. The constitution provides that consent of all provinces is needed for altering the boundary of any province. The constitution contains such ridiculous things. For changing the boundaries, consent of only the concerned provinces should be sought. Such provision was included in an attempt to prevent any change in the provincial numbers and boundaries. Such provisions should be amended.”
South Asia Check has examined whether this statement is fact-based or not.
Article 274 of the Constitution of Nepal, 2015 has provisions regarding constitution amendment.
Clause 4 states that if the amendment bill is related to the alteration in the border of any province, the speaker or the chairperson of the concerned House [upper or lower house of federal parliament] must send that bill to the provincial assembly for its consent, within thirty days after its introduction in the Federal Parliament.
Clause 5 further states that the concerned provincial assemblies must, by majorities of the members present, accept or reject the bill presented for their consent and give information thereof to the Federal Parliament within three months. But if any of the provincial assemblies concerned is not in existence, such bill must be either accepted or rejected within three months after the date of holding of the first meeting following the formation of such provincial assemblies.
According to Clause 7, the bill will become defunct if the majorities of the provincial assemblies concerned reject such bill and notify the Federal Parliament.
In these provisions of the constitution, the term “provincial assemblies” is mentioned three times. And in one instance, the word “provincial assemblies concerned” is clearly mentioned.
These provisions show that the bill related to the alteration of the boundary of a province should be first endorsed by the majorities of the provinces concerned.
Therefore, Mahato is wrong in saying that constitution requires consent of all seven provinces to alter the boundary of any one province.
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