Law to get justices to show assets on cards

  • Law Ministry calls for drafts of necessary bills within 15 days
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Mar 20, 2018-

As legal experts have started raising the issue of corruption in the judiciary, the government on Monday said preparations have begun to revise the laws requiring all the judges to make their property details available in the public domain.

Since the judiciary as a whole could be tarnished due to illegal financial dealings in court, the Law Ministry has started preparations to ensure that all the justices disclose their assets.

“To regulate the conduct of justices, possible ways including revision to existing laws will be explored,” newly appointed Law Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang told a news conference at the ministry on Monday.

The ministry would also ensure that the code of conduct of justices is enforced. In a discussion with the acting chief justice and other justices at the Supreme Court on Monday, Minister Tamang requested them to cooperate for judicial reforms.

Minister Tamang revealed his property at the press meet and stressed that all those in constitutional and public services should reveal their property. Existing laws state that the authorities of constitutional bodies and those in public offices must submit their property details but they are not required to make them public. Currently, justices submit their property details to the Judicial Commission.

Of late, questions have been raised about the judiciary, especially over “bench shopping” at the apex court.

A series of controversial orders during then-chief justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli’s tenure have drawn widespread criticisms, mainly in relation to businesses of Ncell, Ajeya Raj Sumargi, Surya Nepal and Gorkha Brewery, among others.

The Nepal Bar Association convention four years ago had said it had a list of every corrupt dealing in court, with details of payment corrupt judges received.

A former apex court justice, Balaram KC welcomed the move. Asked if it would violate the fundamental right of citizens, KC argued that someone holding a public position must reveal their property for the sake of transparency.

He demanded that not only incumbent authorities but also retired ones be required to reveal their property for a specified period of time. Former chief justice Sushila Karki, in an interview with Kantipur daily on Sunday, said the property of justices and lawyers must be examined to check corruption.

Meanwhile, the Law Ministry has requested all other ministries to draft laws as required by the constitution and send them to it within 15 days.

“All the laws required to be drafted by the Law Ministry will be prepared within 10 days,” Tamang told reporters on Monday. Earlier, the ministry formed a panel led by Attorney General Agni Kharel to draft model laws for the local and provincial governments as they complain that they are failing to deliver in the lack of essential laws.

Published: 20-03-2018 08:44

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