KATHMANDU, Sept 22: The Nepal Bar Association (NBA), an umbrella organization of legal professionals across the country, has objected to the amendment of the Justice Council Rules and the reordering of the seniority of judges. The Nepal Bar has also warned that the rules of the council have been amended in favor of some people and urged the Council to rectify these changes immediately.
Members of NBA claim that the judicial council, which has the responsibility of strengthening the judiciary, will benefit certain individual through unexpected alterations in the roll number of judges in a retrospective manner.
The NBA said that changing the roll number has humiliated, discouraged and disappointed the entire judiciary. This amendment is not acceptable to the Nepal Bar Association. "The amendment is considered to be retrogressive, differentially biased and even arbitrary," said the members of NBA.
The NBA has also warned that the amendment should be corrected immediately as it is against the rule of law. "We draw the attention of the relevant bodies including the Judicial Council to cancel the amendment immediately and not to change anything in the provisions of the roll number related to the seniority of former judges on the basis of that amendment," said one of the members of the NBA.
Judicial Council Regulations, 2074 BS (First Amendment, 2080 BS) was published in the Nepal Gazette on September 18. In the amendment of the regulation, it has been arranged that individuals appointed as judges of the High Court while serving as the Chief Registrar of the Justice Service will be ranked after the Chief Justice. It also introduces a provision for seniority based on the roll number before an individual's appointment to the post of a specific category.
The NBA claims that clause (b) of the amended rule 11 after clause (b) and (2) directly contradicts Article 141 (3) of the Constitution and prevailing laws. "The Nepal Bar Association believe that the revised arrangement of the roll number regarding the appointment of judges while revising the rules is against the valid principles of the constitution, law and justice," said the statement issued by President Gopal Krishna Ghimire and General Secretary Anjita Khanal.