Army Act 2063 was enacted in Ashoj 2063 BS to amend and unify laws related to the Nepal Army and consolidate existing laws regarding the foundation, management, control, usage, and mobilization of the Nepal Army in Nepal while maintaining accountability to the People.

The Act has mentioned that the Nepal Army was established in Nepal for the protection and defense of the Independence, Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, and National Unity of Nepal.

National Security Council

The Constitution of Nepal has provisioned for the National Security Council to provide recommendations to the Government of Nepal and the Council of Ministers for matters of national interest, security, and defense of Nepal.

Members

(a) The Prime Minister – Serving as the Chairperson

(b) Minister for Defence, Government of Nepal – Member

(c) Minister for Home, Government of Nepal – Member

(d) Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal – Member

(e) Minister for Finance, Government of Nepal – Member

(f) Chief Secretary of Government of Nepal – Member

(g) Commander-in-Chief, Nepal Army – Member

(h) Secretary of Ministry of Defense-Member Secretary

The Constitution has maintained that the President should serve as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Nepal Army. The Appointment and removal of the Commander-in-Chief is vested upon the President upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

Chief of Army Staff

The Chief of Army Staff is the Highest-Ranking Officer in the Nepal Army. The Chief of Army Staff is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. During the process of Appointment, the President must confer an insignia upon the Chief of Army Staff.

The Senior Officer of the Nepalese Army must serve as the Acting Chief of Army Staff in the condition of vacancy of the post.

The Primary Function and the Chief of Army Staff must conduct the management of the Nepal Army. The Chief must submit an annual report relating to the management of the Nepal Army to the Government of Nepal.

As stated in Section 11 of the Army Act, the Chief of Army Staff can hold office till the age of 61 years old. The Term of Office for the Chief is three years.

Appointment of Army

A Recruitment Committee is established to fill vacant positions in the Nepal Army. It is headed by the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission or a designated member of the Commission to recommend officers to fill higher-ranking posts.

For Positions below the Officer Rank, a committee member nominated by the Public Service Commission must recommend along with Written Examinations and relevant procedures provided in the law.

Disqualification

  • Not a Citizen of Nepal
  • Convicted for a criminal offense involving Moral Turpitude
  • Removed from service for being disqualified  
  •  Convicted in offense violating Human Rights

Authorities

The following have the authority to remove individuals from service or demote them to lower ranks:

  • Government of Nepal
  • Chief of the Army Staff
  • Corps Commander
  • Division Commander
  • Brigade Commander
  • Commanding Officer

Privileges and Immunities of Nepal Army

Chapter 5 Sections 22 to 28 has managed the privileges and immunities of the Nepal Army:

Protection for Acts performed during Duty

If a person is devising their conduct based on the Army Act and discharging duties in good faith, no case can be filed against them in any court.

Immunity From Arrest

Persons engaged in military proceedings as stipulated by Court Martial cannot be detained for unpaid loans or other relevant offences.

Non-Freezing or Forfeiting of Assets

No assets such as arms, clothing, supplies, vehicles, goods, salary, and allowances of Individuals under the Nepal Army can be frozen or forfeited by any Court or Authority while discharging their duties.

Priority in Cases

Individuals who are serving in the Nepal Army and are party to a case get priority in their cases within the leave granted to them.

Complaint

Officers and Personnel can complain against injustice caused by Commanding Officers or Senior Officers along with their respective commander and the decision of the Chief of Army Staff on such complaints is final.

Army Welfare Fund and its Committee

An Army Welfare Fund has been established in Nepal for the welfare of present and ex-personnels of the Nepal Army including their families. The Fund shall include:

a. A portion of the funds received by the Nepal Army for peacekeeping missions worldwide at the request of the United Nations Organizations.

b. Savings from the interest earned on funds deposited in various banks and financial institutions,

c. Income from investments in prescribed welfare activities.

d. Amounts deposited as the principal sum in various banks and financial institutions

e. Movable and immovable property of institutions designated by the Army Headquarters and the associated funds.

f. Movable and immovable property used by the Nepal Army and the associated funds

Members of Army Welfare Fund Operation and Management Committee

a. Chief of Army Staff (Chairperson)

b. Two individuals nominated by the Patron from among current and former military officers (Members)

c. Two individuals nominated by the Chief of Army Staff from among current and former military officers (Members)

d. A representative from the Ministry of Finance (a gazetted first-class officer) (Member)

e. A representative from the Ministry of Defence (a gazetted first-class officer) (Member)

Functions, Duties, and Powers

a) Developing, executing, coordinating, and overseeing welfare initiatives, income-generating projects, and welfare planning.

b) Providing support to the families of Army personnel who were killed or severely injured during military operations.

c) Adjusting, enhancing, or eliminating benefits and concessions according to welfare regulations.

d) Creating and implementing the necessary procedures and guidelines for welfare efforts, income generation projects, and welfare planning.

e) Conducting welfare activities on the Nepal Army’s land and infrastructure through an agreement with the Army Headquarters.

f) Establishing administrative, financial, and technical units for welfare activities and income-generation initiatives

g) Appointing experts to ensure the effective implementation of welfare programs, income generation initiatives, and welfare planning.

h) Deploying military personnel for security purposes when launching welfare activities, income generation projects, and welfare planning.

i) Acquiring, purchasing, renting, using, and selling movable and immovable assets as per the law.

j) Carrying out any other functions as specified.

Army Offences

Enemy-Related Offenses:

(a) Abandoning a garrison or fort to the enemy.

(b) Surrendering arms or behaving cowardly in front of the enemy.

(c) Spreading propaganda to undermine morale.

(d) Sharing confidential information with the enemy.

(e) Aiding the enemy with supplies.

(f) Undermining the Nepal Army or its forces.

(g) Raising a cease-fire flag treacherously.

(h) Assisting a detained enemy.

(i) Sheltering or protecting non-prisoner of war enemies.

(j) Sleeping or using drugs or alcohol during wartime duty.

(k) Compelling or inspiring others not to take action against the enemy.

(l) Deserting without approved leave.

Mutiny:

(a) Involvement in mutiny.

(b) Plotting or instigating mutiny.

(c) Failing to prevent mutiny.

(d) Not reporting mutiny plans.

(e) Inciting deviation from duty or patriotism.

Enemy-Related Other Offenses:

(a) Becoming a prisoner of the enemy due to negligence.

(b) Engaging in unauthorized correspondence with the enemy.

(c) Raising a cease-fire flag without proper authority.

Offenses Against Military Operation:

(a) Forcefully acting against security personnel.

(b) Entering a building with the intent to loot.

(c) Misusing drugs or alcohol on sentry duty.

(d) Leaving duty without permission.

(e) Providing false signals or information to cause terror.

(f) Divulging watchwords and countersigns to unauthorized persons.

Desertion-Related Offenses:

Various offenses related to desertion, including deserting without orders.

The offense of Allowing Someone in Custody to Escape:

Releasing a person in custody without proper authority.

Offense Relating to Assault or Intimidation:

Threatening or assaulting superior officers.

Defiance-Related Offense:

Defying lawful orders and disobeying superiors.

Offenses Related to Loss or Damage to Property:

Causing damage to property or misusing government property.

Offenses Relating to Forgery or Falsifying Particulars:

Committing forgery or providing false information.

Offense Related to Obstruction or Use of Criminal Force:

Using force or obstructing lawful activities.

Offense Against Property:

Misusing or damaging property.

Offenses Regarding Cheating or Coercion:

Committing acts of cheating or coercion.

Offense of Desertion with Arms and Other Things or Their Misuse:

Deserting with weapons and equipment.

Offense Against Discipline and Code of Conduct:

Various offenses against military discipline and code of conduct.

Offenses Related to Certification of Incomplete Document:

Certifying incomplete documents with fraudulent intent.

Offense Related to False Statements or Details:

Recording false statements or details.

The offense of Taking an Appointment through Lying:

Obtaining appointments through deception.

The offense of Escaping from Custody:

Escaping from legal custody.

Offenses of False Allegation:

Making false allegations against others.

Offenses of Absence Without Leave:

Being absent without approved leave.

Offenses Related to Court Martial:

Offenses related to military courts.

Offense of Freezing Salary Illegally:

Illegally withholding salary.

Offense Related to Irregular (Illegal) Arrest or Detention:

Illegal arrest or detention.

Court Martial in Nepal

A Court Martial can be formed in Nepal to try and dispose of cases that have arisen from the above-mentioned offenses within or by the Nepal Army.

Types of Court Martial

The Types of Court Martial are:

General Court Martial

It consists of Five Officers One General, Two colonels or Lieutenant Colonel, and Two Majors.

Summary General Court Martial

It consists of Three Officers including at least Two Officers of the Rank of Major.

District Court Martial

It is comprised of three officers who have completed a term of three years.

Summary Court Martial

It is comprised of one officer who commands the department. Formation or Unit of the Nepal Army.

The Provision has stated that an officer with a law degree must be present in both the General Court Martial and Summary General Court Martial.

Jurisdiction of Court Martial

The Jurisdiction of the Court Martial is as follows:

General and Summary General Court Martial has the authority to try, hear, adjudicate, and impose a penalty for individuals who have committed offenses stated in this Act.

District Court Martial can try, hear, adjudicate, and impose penalties for cases with a maximum imprisonment term of two years.

The Summary Court Martial has the authority to try, hear, adjudicate, and impose penalties for these cases:

  • For cases with a potential one-year imprisonment term, when convened by an officer of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Pramukh Senani) or senior to them.
  • For cases with a potential six-month imprisonment term, when convened by an officer of a rank below Lieutenant Colonel (Pramukh Senani).

Schedules of Army Act 2063

 Posts in the Nepal Army

The Following are the prescribed posts in the Nepal Army by the Army Act 2063:

  1. Chief of Army Staff (Maharathi)
  2. Lieutenant General (Rathi)
  3. Major General (Uparathi)
  4. Brigadier General (Sahayak Rathi)
  5. Colonel (Mahasenani)
  6. Lieutenant Colonel (Pramukh Senani)
  7. Major (Senani)
  8. Captain (Sahasenani)
  9. Lieutenant (Upasenani)
  10. Second Lieutenant (Sahayak Senani)
  11. Chief Warrant Officer (Subedar Major)
  12. Warrant Officer One (Subedar)
  13. Warrant Officer Two (Jamdar)
  14. Sergeant (Hudda)
  15. Corporal (Amaldar)
  16. Lance Corporal (Pyuth)
  17. Soldiers (Sipahi)
  18. Followers

Age Bar in Nepal Army

General

  1. Chief of Army Staff – Sixty-One years
  2. Lieutenant General – Fifty-Eight years
  3. Major General – Fifty-Seven years
  4. Brigadier General – Fifty-Six years
  5. Colonel – Fifty-Six years
  6. Lieutenant Colonel – Fifty-Four years
  7. Major – Fifty-Three years
  8. Captain – Fifty-two years
  9. Lieutenant – Fifty-One years
  10. Second Lieutenant – Fifty years

Technician

  1. Major General – Fifty-Eight years
  2. Brigadier General – Fifty-Eight years
  3. Colonel – Fifty-Seven years
  4. Lieutenant Colonel – Fifty-Six years
  5. From Second Lieutenant to Major – Fifty-Five years

Tenure of Officers in Nepal Army

General

  1. Lieutenant General – Two years
  2. Major General – Three years
  3. Brigadier General – Four years
  4. Colonel – Five years
  5. Lieutenant Colonel – Five years
  6. Major (Total tenure as an officer) – Twenty years

Technician

  1. Major General – Three years
  2. Brigadier General – Four years
  3. Colonel – Five years
  4. Lieutenant Colonel – Five years

Epilogue

Army Act 2063 was consolidated to remove the Royal Nepal Army and ensure its alignment with the principles of National Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Nepal after the Republic. It has outlined the President as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of Army Staff as the Highest-Ranking Army Officer in Nepal. The Act has proposed an Army Welfare Fund and National Defense Council. Moreover, it has outlined Offences related to Army in Nepal and proposed a Court Martial for adjudication of offences.

Cite