August 16, 2016 12:00 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
KATHMANDU, Aug 16: The parliament on Sunday forwarded the Judicial Administration Bill to a parliamentary committee for further deliberations, prolonging its endorsement process.
The decision to forward the Bill to Amend and Integrate Acts Related to the Judicial Administration to the bills committee would delay the establishment process of High Courts, which the new constitution made it mandatory to do within a year of the commencement of the new constitution.
The bill has proposed transforming seven of the 16 existing appellate courts into high courts. Article 300 (3) of the new constitution provisions that the enactment of federal laws, establishment of high courts and dissolution of the existing appellate courts must all be done within a year of the commencement of the new constitution.
“The decision to forward the bill to the parliamentary committee would consume more time for deliberations. The bill could have been endorsed without taking it to the committee as the amendment proposal has demanded no major changes in the bill,” said former Law and Justice Minister Agni Kharel.
He further said that the decision has left him worried about timely endorsement of the bill from the House. “We had registered the bill in the parliament on time because its endorsement process shouldn't be delayed as it is vital for the implementation of the new constitution,” he said.
Seven lawmakers have registered amendment proposals on the bill demanding altogether 49 amendments in various provisions of the bill. Lawmakers have demanded fewer number of judges at such courts.
NC lawmaker Radheshyam Adhikari, in his amendment proposal, has demanded the total posts of judges in all high courts be 77 instead of 160 proposed in the bill. However, some lawmakers have demanded that the total posts of judges in a high court should be as recommended by the government.
Lawmakers, Radheshyam Adhikari, Ramesh Lekhek, Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel, Ram Narayan Bidari, Janakraj Joshi, Prem Suwal and Gopal Giri have registered amendment proposals demanding changes in the bill.
Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party demanded that parliament should be allowed to hold deliberations over the irregularities in the courts, which the bill proposes to block.
Similarly, the House on Sunday also forwarded the Judicial Council bill to the committee for further discussion. Altogether 11 lawmakers have registered amendment proposals to the bill. Most of the lawmakers have demanded 26 justices at the Supreme Court. Lawmakers Bharat Khadka, Radheshyam Adhikari, Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel, Ram Narayan Bidari, Pratikshya Tiwari among others have demanded the amendment on the bill.