Judges call for binning House hearing

- Pranab Kharel, Kathmandu
Judges call for binning House hearing

Nov 19, 2014-

The judges have called for doing away with the provision of Parliamentary Hearing before appointment to the Supreme Court (SC), arguing that such provisions are there in a system where judges are appointed by the executive, which is not the case in Nepal.

The suggestion, which is incorporated in the 38-point declaration of the judges, comes in line with that of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Law Minister Narahari Acharya who had also expressed concerns over the current state of hearing in the opening session of the judges’ second national conference on Monday.

During the close session of the conference, the judges had criticised the hearing process as a way to ‘insult’ them. The meet which concluded on Wednesday has also sought to restructure the Judicial Council. The gathering has called for ‘judges dominated’ structure, wherein three SC justices, the chief justice, law minister, and either a senior legal professional who has no affiliation with any party for five years or an independent personality of national stature are among the members.

Currently, the JC comprises chief justice, senior justice of apex court, law minister, a representative of Nepal Bar Association and a nominee of the prime minister. The provision incorporated in the declaration is in line with the suggestion made by the top justices of the apex court to the leaders of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the Constituent Assembly in October.

The judges also suggested forming a separate constitutional body to take action against judges suggesting splitting JC, something which the leadership of judiciary has already communicated to the PDCC.

The declaration also rejects the idea of constitutional court. Instead, it has recommended a permanent constitutional bench within the apex court for dealing with constitutional issues in a federal set-up. Judges’ conclave argues that formation of the court is not in line with the “judicial culture” of Nepal and will lead to the issue of jurisdiction in reference to the SC which the jamboree has termed as court of record. The judiciary is against the formation of constitutional court ever since the debate began in the first CA.  The judges have also urged for a unified legal system, even if the country adopts federal model.

The national gathering has also called for revising the number of permanent justices in the apex court.

The declaration has also called for raising the age bar of all judges to 70. The existing retiring age for the judges at the district and appellate courts is 63. The retirement age for the SC judges is 65.  

The gathering also called for providing perks and facilities to the former apex court justices at par with when they were in service, or allow them to be a member of any constitutional body. Currently, former apex court justices are only allowed to be the head of National Human Rights Commission.

Published: 20-11-2014 09:29

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