The Supreme Court has ordered the National Information Commission to decide within three months whether or not the government should make public the Girish Chandra Lal Commission’s report.

The order was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana and Sapana Pradhan Malla.

The Lal commission, which had investigated incidents of violence committed during Tarai protests in 2015 and 2016, had submitted its report to the then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on 15 December 2017, but the government has not made it public.

The SC’s ruling came in response to a writ petition filed by Shashidhar Pandey, Gita Kumar Barai, Abdhesh Kumar Kurmi and Dharmendra Murau on 22 August 2018, seeking copies of the report.

The petitioners’ family members were killed by security personnel during Tarai protests. The government had formed the probe commission led by former Supreme Court justice Lal on 18 September 2016. The commission investigated 3,264 complaints lodged by victims, ordinary citizens and political parties.

Petitioners moved the SC after the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to give them copies of the report on one pretext or the other.

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Samajwadi Party-Nepal have been demanding that the government make the Lal commission report public and hold those responsible for violence accountable. Petitioners have argued that being related to victims, they have a right to know the findings and recommendations of the Lal commission.

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