Ex-CJs say judiciary at critical juncture

Published On: August 14, 2019 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Former chief justices and justices have expressed serious concerns over the current state of judiciary saying that irregularities and anomalies have alarmingly high in the sector.

They said the judiciary is in critical stage because of the kinds of appointments made in the judiciary and its working style. 

They underscored the need for working jointly with the stakeholders to protect the integrity of the judiciary. The former CJs addressing a meeting of Former Judges’ Forum Nepal said that it became imperative as the judiciary was gradually losing public trust in recent years. The meeting was attended by 75 former judges.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the general secretary of the forum, Shambhu Bahadur Khadka, said that former justices who attended the meeting were seriously worried over the current state of the judiciary. 

Former chief justice Kedar Nath Upadhayaya, who is also the chairman of the forum said the former judges, although they are already retired, need to work to improve the image of the judiciary. “It has become necessary to hold serious dialogue with stakeholders including the chief justice and justices of the Supreme Court, Judicial Council, Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association among others to find solutions,” he said.

Another former chief justice Ram Kumar Prasad Sah said the image of the judiciary has suffered due to wrong verdicts and the kinds of appointments made. 

Former chief justice Dilip Kumar Paudel said that the role of former chief justices can still be important to resolve the problems seen in the judiciary and pointed out the need for the former CJs’ body to be more active to play the role to revive the spruce up the image of the judiciary. 

Former justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi went on to say that he even doesn’t want to introduce himself in public as a former justice of the Supreme Court because of the poor image of the judiciary. He blamed the political parties for creating such a situation. 

“The role of the Judicial Council has already been proved to be ineffective. Also some verdicts of the courts draw serious concerns.  Therefore there is a need to study the verdicts and identify the shortcomings,” Rayamajhi added.

Claiming that the judiciary has now been overshadowed by the executive, former chief judge Top Bahadur Singh termed the appointments of judges as per the allocation of seats among political parties was unfortunate. “There are opportunities to bring reforms in the judiciary but honesty is a must for it,” he added.

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