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New laws come into effect from today

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KATHMANDU — A new set of laws to replace the 165-year-old Muluki Ain (Civil Code) that introduces sweeping reforms in the traditional legal practices has come into effect from Friday.

With this, the Muluki Ain — introduced by the then Prime Minister Janga Bahadur Rana in 1853– has been officially replaced with the new set of rules approved by parliament last year.

The new laws includes 70 percent provisions with revision from the existing Muluki Ain while 20 percent new provisions based on the changed context of social norms and values and the remaining 10 percent other provisions are based on precedents set by the judiciary.

6 laws were endorsed from parliament last year in August, splitting the Muluki Ain into five separate laws to be enacted from Friday.

Among the five laws, the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code deal with defining crimes and fixing sentences against those convicted of those crimes.

The new law has criminalized the Chhaupadi practice,match-fixing in sports, public land encroachment, dowry tradition, acid attacks, tampering with photos of individuals, and enslavement, among other offenses.

Likewise, the Civil Code, Civil Procedure Code deal with property issues, contract and property share allotment and other issues, while Sentencing Act has provisioned method and criteria to determine and pronounce sentences on offenses.

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Anyone involved in tampering with or distorting the photos of another individual without prior consent will be liable to face two years in jail and Rs 10,000 to 20,000 in penalty. Likewise, if a woman, according to to new law, wants to divorce her husband despite being treated properly by him, she may not necessarily get a share of his property.

With the implementation of the new law, foreign nationals to be married within the territory of Nepal should abide by the domestic law, whatever the limitations or freedoms in his or her own country.

As this new set of laws goes into effect, it has courted criticism from different quarters including the media as it has stringent provisions against defamation, privacy breach, recording of secret conversations, taking photos, publishing cartoons and sketches and tampering photos.

Some provisions in the Criminal Code say violation of any individual’s right to privacy would result in up to three years imprisonment and fines in thousands of rupees.

The new law also says listening to or recording a conversation between two or more people, or photographing any individual, without consent is a criminal offence and anyone found violating these rules faces one year in prison and a fine of Rs10,000 or both.

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Wildfire goes out of control in Parbat

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PARBAT— A wildfire that engulfed hundreds of hectares of two community forests at Bihadi Rural Municipality in the district has yet to come under control.

The inferno that took place at around 9 am on Thursday continues to rage, advancing towards the nearby settlements at Lingsing, Taltum, Lugring and Bhaterpata, putting lives at risk, said the police. The locals have been asked to stay alert.

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“At present, the flame is at the cliff above Salghari. It may engulf the nearby entire settlements if not taken under control soon,” said local resident Rishiram Bhusal. Thousands of rupees worth of healthy trees and medicinal herbs have been burnt down so far in the inferno, said the police.

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