Justice delivery by local units ineffective due to lack of legal knowledge

Published On: June 11, 2018 08:55 AM NPT By: NAGENDRA UPADHYAY AND GOVINDA KC

SURKHET/ DAILEKH, June 11: It has been a year since Mukti Puri, deputy mayor of Panchapuri Municipality, was assigned the responsibility of coordinator of the judicial committee of the municipality. But so far, she has handled only two cases. According to her, she has not been able to perform well due to the difficulty in understanding the legal proceedings. "It's been a year that I have been entrusted with this responsibility but I have not been able to do it effectively," she said.

The situation is even worse at other local units. For example, Barahatal Rural Municipality is yet to form the judicial committee. According to Tej Bahadur Basnet, chairperson of the rural municipality, the committee has not been formed due to the confusion over the process of delivering verdict. "Forming a judicial committee is  not enough. It is more important to be able to deliver the right verdict," he said. He informed that the committee won't be formed until a legal advisor was hired.

 Naumule Rural Municipality of Dailekh had formed the judicial committee in November 2017. But the committee has not seen even a single case since its formation. Amrita Singh, coordinator of the committee, laments that she has not been able to perform her job because of the lack of co-operation from the staffers and a legal advisor.  "The judicial committee was formed but I have no idea how I will carry out a judicial job without a legal advisor," she said. 

Among the total 79 local units of Karnali Province, almost all have formed the judicial committees but most of them have failed to provide service. Some of the committees irectly forward the cases to the police. Nirmala Rana, vice-chairperson of Chaukune Rural Municipality of Surkhet says she only handles minor cases and disputes. "I solve the normal disputes between husbands and wives or family matters," she said, adding, "But the major cases and issues are forwarded to the police."

Interestingly, capital of the province, Birendranagar Municipality, has been resolving the legal issues by hiring a legal advisor. "Around a hundred cases have been filed in one year since the formation of the judicial committee," said coordinator of the judicial committee Mohanmaya Dhakal. Birendranagar Municipality has appointed Senior advocate Krishna Bahadur Hamal as a legal advisor. Mahabu Rural Municipality of Dailekh too has resolved some minor cases. "I have been handling cases of divorce, domestic violence and other social issues," said Hamal.

Most of the coordinators lament that they have no idea about most of the legal proceedings which prevents them from carrying out their jobs properly.

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