KATHMANDU, April 6: At a time when the demand for making public the property details of judges is gaining momentum, Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee said on Friday that the judges are not bound to do so as per the existing laws of Nepal.
Addressing a press briefing orgnized at the Supreme Court on Friday, Acting Chief Justice Joshee said the government needs to first formulate laws if it wants justices to make public the details of their property.
"We are not bureaucrats. We have been submitting our property details to the Judicial Council. So, if the government wants to make public the details of the properties of judges, it can formulate laws for that," Joshee said.
Joshi hinted that the judges would not make their property details public without the formulation of laws by the government compelling the judges to do so.
Recently, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Sher Bahadur Tamang said that the government would formulate a law compelling judges to make their property details public and the 14th national conference of Nepal Bar Association held recently in Nepalgunj supported Tamang on this.
Joshee, however, claimed that the government does not have the right to interfere with the independence of the judiciary even when the cabinet has begun rejecting the foreign junkets of judges.
Joshee claimed that those who want the independence of the judiciary should raise a voice for its own mechanism to determine its budget. He also underlined the need for supporting staff for the judges to ready their judgments on time because service seekers have to wait for years to receive judgments.
The acting chief justice also underlined a recently submitted annual report of the apex court to President Bidya Devi Bhandari that states that the judiciary has been functioning with the same strength of the staffer that worked in 2006/07 at a time when its workload has increased heavily.
According to the annual report, the apex court has disposed only 32.95 per cent cases pending at the apex court of the country by deciding 11,321 cases and the high courts have decided 62.83 per cent by deciding 33,947 cases and district courts have decided 67.78 per cent by deciding 110,713 cases. "Justice delivery depends on the kinds of cases decided within the given time because deciding cases is a complicated task. It cannot be measured on the numbers of cases decided," Joshee added.
Joshi also added that the reform process in the judiciary would be done gradually for which he is focused enough. "I shall entertain suggestions from everybody and would brief our work to the media systematically by setting a media-desk at the Supreme Court," he added.