Introduction to The Civil Rights Act 2012

The Civil Rights Act was enacted in 2012 B.S. to furnish the citizens of Nepal with civil rights and the procedure to enforce those rights. It was a leading act that propagated the provisions of UDHR 1948 A.D. and established Nepal as a democratic country at the period.

The Act consists of preeminent and mandatory state-guaranteed rights such as Equality in the Eye of the Law, the Right to Freedom, the Right to Religion, and much more.

It was complimentary to the Interim Government of Nepal Act 2007, Pradhan Nyayalaya Act 2008, and Interpretation of Laws Act 2010.

List of Rights

  • Equality in the Eye of Law
  • No Discrimination on the Ground of Religion, Caste, Tribe or Gender
  • Positive Discrimination
  • Right to Freedom of Speech
  • Right to Religion
  • No Taxation without Legal Authority
  • Right to Property
  • Security of the Residence of the Citizen
  • Personal Freedom
  • Restriction from Forced Labour
  • Prohibition in Employing Children in Hazardous Work
  • Protection from Arrest
  • No Illegal Detention

Features of the Civil Rights Act 2012

Provisions against Discrimination

This Act has fundamentally proposed that the State shall not act or conduct its appointment on the grounds of Religion, Caste, Tribe, or Gender.

The State of Nepal, while conducting its appointments, must rely on the grounds of merit.

Moreover, the Act has proposed the State of Equality before the law and also equally guarantees the protection of the law while using prevailing laws as its basis.

Provisions on Personal Rights

The Act has indoctrinated several personal rights into Nepali Constitutionalism.

It has ensured the Right to Freedom of Speech which includes freedom of expression and publication, assembling peacefully, moving over Nepal as well as Transacting property and choosing one’s Profession.

The right to Religion where religious groups won’t be intervened and religious activities can be managed according to one’s traditional practice has been secured through the Act.

Other Civil Rights include prevention from depriving an individual of their personal liberty and right relating to Privacy.

Provisions on Judicial Rights

In addition to the fundamental civil rights, the act has several provisions connected with Justice and its procedural aspects.

It guarantees that individuals shouldn’t be forced to Self-Incriminate or provide testimony against themselves.

They shall be protected from Double Jeopardy through their rights in relation to Justice.

A separate provision of the act has guaranteed rights against Illegal Detention as well as protection from illegal or unlawful arrest.

Enforcement of Rights

For the enforcement of these rights, any Individual could have filed a petition before the Court of Appeal according to the act. However, it required a reasonable belief that the right was being infringed.

The Act also provisions for the individual who infringes the right to pay compensation to the aggrieved party according to the decision of the court.


The Limitation for the filing of cases in the condition where the above-mentioned rights have been infringed was set to Eight Months from the date of cause of action.


Civil Rights Act 2012 was a pioneering legislation in terms of Progressive Political and Civil Rights bestowed to the citizens of Nepal.

Although most of these provisions were directly violated during the Panchayat Era, it has remained one of the finest pieces of legislation of the Pre-Panchayat Democratic Era from 2007 B.S. to 2017 B.S.

Through this Act, state-led equality was established while it provided the rights for citizens to initiate cases against public authorities if their civil rights were violated. The Act played a crucial role in the Post-Rana Regime Era to legally empower people.

However, this act has its set of National demerits. This Act was drafted on a British Module and the rights ensured were also derived from the Common Law System. It failed to embody Nepal and our socio-cultural practices.

Some historians have even believed it to be the continuation of adding Common Law Elements to our Legal System. It is counted as duplicated Acts belonging to the list of Pradhan Nyayalaya Act 2008, Interpretation of Law Act 2010, and Supreme Court Act 2013.


Civil Rights Act 2012 which was enacted during the Reign of King Mahendra in Poush of 2012 B.S. consisted of several fundamental civil rights derived from UDHR. However, it failed to embody our sui-generis practices.