SURKHET/ JUMLA, Aug 21: The number of cases have reduced significantly in courts after the government introduced the new civil and criminal codes four days ago to replace the centuries old Muluki Ain. The cabinet had approved the code a year ago but it came into effect from Friday. A large number of government officials and locals are unaware about the act due to the lack of promotion and publicity. Until Monday, only seven cases were filed in the 10 districts of Karnali Province.
Earlier, six to seven cases used to be filed at the District Court (DC) of Surkhet on a daily basis. However, not even a single case has been registered at the DC since the new civil code came into effect. "Everyone seems to have adopted the 'wait and see' policy right now," said Registrar Birendra Malla.
According to Registrar Malla the directive of civil and criminal codes has not yet arrived at the court. "Not only the locals but also the legal experts are not clear about the new codes," Malla said, adding, "That is the major reason why we are not getting any cases right now." From now onward, complaints will not be filed in the same traditional way. Nor will the verdicts be given in the same pattern.
In these four days, a total of seven cases were filed at courts in the province, which includes three cases in Kalikot, two in Jajarkot, and one-one each in Salyan and Dailekh.
Ganesh Gautam, registrar at the DC, Salyan, said that at least three cases used to be registered at the court on a daily basis. But since the introduction of the new codes, only one case of divorce has been filed here. "It will take some time for the people to get used to the new codes," said Gautam.
Following the provision of the new codes, a husband has filed for divorce in Dailekh. Earlier, only women could file for divorce in courts. "More number of cases will be filed once people will be familiar with the new codes," said Registrar Ramesh Shrestha.
Meanwhile, no cases have been filed in the court of Jumla, Humla, Mugu and Dolpa since Friday. Advocate Padam Bahadur Shahi stated that they are not in a rush to solve cases due to the fear of making mistakes. "But this situation won't last long," he said. While the exorbitant hike in taxes is being criticized across the country, courts too have drawn flak from all corners for increasing charges for their services. Earlier, the District Court of Surkhet used to charge Rs 3 for photocopying a page but now the price has been hiked to Rs 10.
Likewise, in the past, service seekers had to pay Rs 50 to file a divorce case but now the court charges Rs 500 for the same.