Kathmandu: Nepal’s Supreme Court has sought within 15 days the country’s original map exchanged with India during the signing of the Sugauli Treaty in 1816 after a petition sought the apex court’s intervention to secure the Nepali territory.
A single bench of Justice Hari Prasad Phuyal demanded the map from the Nepal government in response to the public interest litigation filed by a senior advocate who appealed the Supreme Court to order the government to start political and diplomatic efforts to protect Nepali territories.
Nepal has raised objections after India released its new political map in November last year following the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir. Nepal claimed that Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani areas were shown under India’s territory even though they lie within the Nepalese territory. India has said the new map accurately depicts its sovereign territory and it has in no manner revised its boundary with Nepal.
Nepalese territories including Darjeeling were handed to the British East India Company as concessions under the Sugauli treaty which was signed in 1816 on the conclusion of the Anglo-Nepalese War.
Under the treaty, the Nepalese-controlled territory that was ceded included all areas that the king of Nepal had won in earlier wars such as the kingdom of Sikkim in the east and Kumaon and Garhwal in the west.
Although the Supreme court order was issued Monday, the text of the order was issued only on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court bench asked the government to furnish a written response along with a copy of Sugauli Treaty-era map of Nepal within 15 days.
The apex court has also asked the authorities to furnish other official maps either exchanged with various countries or with the international organisations including the United Nations while applying for obtaining their membership.
The government has also been directed to submit the original map exchanged while signing a Boundary Treaty with the Indian government in 1960, the map published by the East-India Company on February 1, 1827, and a separate map published by the British Government in 1847.
The court has also asked the government to submit details of efforts made, if any, for amending the map of Nepal.
The bench stated that the hearings on the PIL will be conducted in tandem with another similar petition filed by another advocate.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu Post reported that Nepal has proposed foreign secretary-level talks with India in mid-January on the boundary issue.