Saturday Feb 4, 2023
Saturday Feb 4, 2023

Serious constitutional error in the use of 'embossed number' of the vehicle

2022 Feb 25, 20:38, Kathmandu
Representative Image (photo:NepalNews)

 The Supreme Court has committed a serious constitutional error by opening the way for the use of English language on the number plates of vehicles plying in Nepal.

 Ignoring the clear provisions in Article 1 and Article 7 of the Constitution of Nepal, the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Court has committed a serious constitutional error by allowing the use of English language embossed number plate instead of Devanagari script on the number plate used in vehicles.

 Article 1 of the Constitution of Nepal 2072 states that "this Constitution is the basic law of Nepal and any law that conflicts with it will be invalid to the extent of conflict, it is the duty of every person to abide by this Constitution". Article 7 of the constitution states that 'Nepali language written in Devanagari script will be the official language of Nepal'.

 In 2076 BS, the Constitutional Court had ruled that the use of Nepali Devanagari script on the number plate of a vehicle should be ignored and English Roman script should be used. The decision of the Constitutional Court is not even reviewed. At a seminar organized by the Department of Nepal Pragya Pratisthan Language (Nepali Language, Dictionary and Grammar) in the capital today on 'Use of Devanagari script on number plates: Necessity and justification' They have objected to the decision of the Supreme Court.

 Some senior advocates have also accused the judge of making the decision out of financial greed. The Government of Nepal had decided to implement embossed number plate in Nepal in 2074 BS through the decision of the Council of Ministers. A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court on March 26, 2074, demanding closure of the embossed number plate. Hearing the writ petition, the bench of the then Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli issued an interim order not to implement the decision as it was unconstitutional.

 Later, a constitutional bench comprising the then Chief Justice (now suspended) Cholendra shamsher Jabra, Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Harikrishna Karki, Vishwambhar Prasad Shrestha and Prakashman Singh Raut dismissed the writ petition on November 12, 2076 and re-opened the embossed number plate. . Regarding the Supreme Court's decision, an advocate Rameshwar Raut claims that the writ petition, which has no dispute with the 'Matrudas' constitution, has violated various provisions of Article 1, Article 7, Article 28, Article 32, Article 133 and Article 274 of the Constitution by taking it to the Constitutional Court.

 "No sovereign state has found an alternative way of displacing its language scripts and numerals. There is no justification for forcibly imposing embossed number plates as an alternative way of violating the right to language and privacy," Raut said at a conference organized by the foundation. Presented in his concept paper. He also claimed that the use of one's own language in vehicles was essential to save the importance and existence of Nepali language. The Nepal Pragya Pratisthan has repeatedly drawn the attention of the government and departmental ministries on this issue but no hearing has been held.

 The patriarch of the foundation Ganga Prasad Upreti says that the court order is not easily digestible. Mentioning that the overall identity is language and culture, he said, "The government and even the Supreme Court judges do not seem to care about language. We have been discussing that it is necessary to form a public opinion on it." He said that today's discussion has paved the way for how to move forward in the coming days.

 According to Professor Jagat Prasad Upadhyaya, Member Secretary of the Foundation, Nepal Pragya Pratisthan met the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in 2077 BS and drew attention to the issue. The foundation had recently submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on September 12 demanding the use of Devanagari script on the number plate of vehicles. Although various organizations including the Foundation have submitted memorandums from the Attorney General's Office to various stakeholders through the Ministry of Law, no hearing has been held so far.

 Senior advocate Narendra Prasad Pathak points out that it is a serious mistake to try to destroy identity in the name of development and accuses the administration, politicians and judges of not being sensitive. He said, "No law has stopped it from being amended. It is the job of the executive. It can be brought by amending the law even if it is a court decision."

 Another senior advocate, Hari Upreti, wonders how the numbered case went to the Constitutional Court to be heard in the General Assembly. "The court seems to have interpreted English as technology-friendly, judging by the size of the letter, which seems to limit the knowledge of the interpreter," he added. He further added that there was a serious constitutional flaw in the decision and that the decision was made by violating the absolute provisions of Article 7 of the Constitution.

 Senior Advocate Dhruvalal Shrestha said that the decision violated the legal basis of law and there was no constitutional basis in the decision. He suggested that such meetings should question the competence and conduct of judges. "It is a question of justice for a foreigner to be able to read easily, to make it easier to arrest a car thief. It does not give such a judge the right to sit in that chair," he said. Senior Advocate Savita Bhandari Baral says that the use of English language in vehicles is a matter of concern and it will end the originality.

 Senior Advocate Shambhu Thapa, alleging financial manipulation in the case, said, “Embossed is a number embossed on an object. Nepali number could also be kept. ” He said that the decision was taken to save the contractor's money as it would cost more. He retorted that the decision should be written in Nepali and the plate should be decided in English.

 Another senior advocate Harihar Dahal also said that the decision was taken due to financial interests. He said that the decision was taken due to the role played behind the scenes in the court. He further added that the decision was taken in the course of examining the distortions and anomalies in the judiciary against the suspended Chief Justice Jabra.

 Senior Advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari said that the Devanagari script was recognized by the constitution and asked, "If English is not the language of Nepalis, why was it recognized?" He further added that the court has reversed the decisions of the past and the president will remain within the constitution.

 Senior linguist Prada Krishna Prasad Ghimire expressed concern that if the Devanagari script continues to disappear, the country will go into darkness. "Without language, our history would not exist. We must work together to preserve language, culture and identity," he said. Usha Hamal, a member of the language commission, said that the issue has been raised since the establishment of the commission. He said that the matter was also recommended while submitting the report to the President.

 Another senior linguist, Prada Madhav Prasad Pokhrel, says that the court cannot refute what is written in the constitution. How can a decision reverse the script that has been evolving from the 3rd century BC to the present day? How did the reversal happen overnight? He asked. He said that technology has come for culture as technology is our servant. He stressed that culture should not be measured by bringing technology made for foreigners. Former Minister Ram Chandra Adhikari suggests to be aware of the onslaught on language, culture and culture.


Supreme Court ARTICLE constitution Nepal Pragya Pratisthan CONSTITUTIONAL ERROR DEVNAGARI NUMBER PLATE government PM CONSTITUTIONAL BODY Constitutional Court issue
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