SC’s PIL verdict remains unimplemented

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 11, 2014-

Even two years after the Supreme Court verdict that its administration and other relevant agencies should not register a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) if a similar one is already subjudice, the order is yet to come into effect.

This is because the order will come into effect only after relevant Acts are amended. The apex court had in December 2012  directed its administration and other concerned  that a petition should not be registered unless the petitioner could clarify how his/her issue is different from the one already subjudice in the court. The court had also said that a petitioner needs to write to the authorities concerned about issues raised in the petition and, if any delay occurs, the plaintiff needs to inform the court through an application. On December 20, 2012, the special bench of Justices Kalyan Shrestha, Girish Chandra Lal and Sushila Karki was responding to a petition challenging a Cabinet decision to introduce public-private partnership in the supply of water in Kathmandu Valley. Bhimsen Pokharel, Shanti Maharjan and Rameshwor Gamal had moved the court on August 2011, challenging the Cabinet decision of June 2007. The petitioners had argued that water tariff was hiked immediately after the Cabinet decision in a blatant disregard to the consumers’ interest.

 The court said that a single bench of justice would decide on whether a petition is admissible in the court. As of now, the court administration, in the first place, decides whether to register a petition or not. If the administration rejects it, the petitioner can file an application, which is heard by a single bench which also decides if the petition must be registered.

The directive also says any PIL brought with a malafide intent would be scrapped and the petitioner blacklisted for a limited period of time from filing further petitions.

The court said that petitioners need to clarify if their petitions represent the interests of the community concerned. The court had in May directed that the provision would come into effect after necessary changes to the Act. Although the agenda is yet to be taken up, Supreme Court Spokesperson Shree-kant Paudel said, the court has formed a committee to look into amendment of relevant Acts to ensure that the SC order comes into effect.

Published: 12-08-2014 09:29

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