Supreme Court halts Home Minister's controversial traffic violator directive

Supreme Court halts Home Minister's controversial traffic violator directive

The Supreme Court has released a temporary order to halt the immediate implementation of the directive by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane to convert traffic violators into volunteers.

On Sunday, Supreme Court Judge Tilak Prasad Shrestha ordered a halt to the implementation of the Home Minister's instructions. Last week, on Republic Day Tuesday, Home Minister Lamichhane had issued such instructions through social media.

Following his directive, the traffic police began implementing it, placing traffic violators on the road as volunteers. This move sparked dissatisfaction on social media, with citizens arguing they were being "double-punished" by having to pay the prescribed fine and also work as volunteers.

What Did Lamichhane Say?

On Republic Day, Lamichhane announced his directive via social media. He wrote, "A small effort with best wishes on the occasion of Republic Day: From now on, women traffic cops will not have to be on duty on roads for the four days of menstruation."

He added, "Those who violate traffic rules, including Mapse [drunk driving], will volunteer to help on the roads in their stead."

His decision elicited both support and opposition on social media. While some welcomed Lamichhane's move, others argued it was "against the constitution and the law."

What Did the Supreme Court Say?

A group of individuals, including Krishna Vika, filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging Lamichhane's decision. As an interim order was also requested, the court on Sunday granted an interim order to not implement the directive.

Supreme Court Information Officer Govinda Prasad Ghimire stated that after the preliminary hearing on the writ petition, a show cause order was also issued in the name of the government.

He said, "After the preliminary hearing of the writ petition, an interim order was issued not to implement the instructions of the Home Minister immediately." This decision effectively halts the practice of turning traffic violators into roadside volunteers until further court proceedings.

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