Mechanism sought to control diplomatic passport misuse

Lawmakers have asked the government to manage the ‘red passports’ for their foreign trips.

Speaking in the meeting of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) Tuesday, the lawmakers sought effective mechanism to control the possible misuse of such passports.

They called for such mechanism while taking part in the deliberations on the bill prepared to amend and integrate the laws related to passports 2075 BS.

The parliamentary committee members have further stated that while going for foreign trips with diplomatic passports may further enhance the national prestige as the lawmakers were the representative of the people.

The discussion was centered on either to provide diplomatic passport for whole tenure or fixing the particular term or withdrawing the passport after returning from the foreign trip.

The issue of red passport for lawmakers has generated controversy as some parliamentarians had misused their diplomatic passports and had faced legal action as well.

Most of the lawmakers have asked to include the provision of submitting their certificates received from the Election Commission and identity cards of the federal parliament. The bill mentioned that action can be taken against those providing wrong details in the passport or involved in passport crime arresting them without any arrest warrant.

The bill has the provision of fine from Rs 200,000-Rs 500,000 or one-year to three years of imprisonment or both.

Action will be taken the lawmakers if they did not follow government’s directives, if they allowed others to use their passport or they were found using other’s passport, if the photo or details in passport were found corrected and if other’s passport was taken under control forcefully, mentioned the proposed bill.

Although it was suggested to carry out intense study by forming sub-committee, the meeting decided to hold further discussion in full meeting of the Committee scheduled on September 14. The meeting held under chairmanship of senior-most member of the Committee, Madhav Nepal, took the decision in this regard.

On the occasion, Pushpa Bhusal of the Nepali Congress said that the lawmakers should not been kept aside at a time when preparation was underway to issue red passport to chiefs of municipalities and rural municipalities.

Similarly, Naradmuni Rana of Communist Party of Nepal, said that it would be appropriate to issue red passport to lawmakers after making a mechanism to stop risk of misuse of red passport.

Likewise, Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party suggested that any Nepalis working remaining in any post should use general passport while going abroad in personal work. A total of six lawmakers have registered amendment proposal on the bill.

The government had taken the Passport Act-2024 in the House of Representatives for its timely revision.
Secretary at the Foreign Ministry, Shanker Das Bairagi , said that the bill has made arrangement to address the policy-level criteria of International Civil Aviation Organization. Provision of four types of passport has been made in the bill.

Diplomatic passport for those going abroad for official work and high-level officials, special passport for those going aboard for study, visit and training from government’s decision, service passport for those employees deputed in Nepali mission in aboard and general passport to Nepali citizens would be issued.



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