KATHMANDU, April 10: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang said on Monday that the Judicial Council (JC) will be activated soon for scrutinizing the property details of judges.
“We will look into the property details of judges submitted to the JC,” Minister Tamang told journalists at a press briefing held by his ministry on Monday. “If somebody has not submitted the property details, we will take action against that individual,” he added. Tamang, however, did not clarify what action would be taken against such judges.
Reiterating that the property details of judges should be made public, he said the government would work to promulgate a law along these lines. “Since there are provisions for individuals from peons to government secretaries and from the ward chairman to the prime minister to make public their property details, why should judges be exempt?” he asked.
The law minister also said that he recently consulted with the Supreme Court bureaucracy and found that a lack of sufficient human resources was hindering justice delivery. So he would do the needful for providing sufficient human resources to the judiciary.
“People cannot receive the text of court judgments on time,” Tamang said adding, “We have began consulting with the Ministry of Finance so that courts can issue their judgments to service seekers in a short period of time. This would be a relief to the service seekers.”
Tamang also said that he would work for bringing about reforms in the existing laws. “This is the time for bringing about economic prosperity and we should focus on economic development and prosperity,” Tamang added.
Tamang claimed that the JC would penalize judges who violate judicial ethics while deciding their cases. “The people's wish would be reflected in parliament in relation to the Supreme Court judges and the JC would be activated for other matters,” he warned. According to him, the same situation would apply in those cases where the justices of the apex court have handed down interim orders in financially-related cases.” Tamang also questioned the motive of judges who acquitted those accused of involvement in big financial scams.
Stating that everything would come back on track if the courts functioned properly, Tamang made it clear the JC would scrutinize the work of judges and would punish those violating judicial norms. “There would be no problem arresting any leader, minister or any other officer but we should first create an environment in which the judges function properly,” he added.
Tamang also claimed that the JC would work to make the appointment of judges more transparent and clean through the setting up of proper standards. “The JC will function differently than in the past,” he said. “It was passive in the past but it will be vibrant in the days to come.”
Tamang claimed that the JC does not have any plans for bringing in a voluntary retirement scheme for judges. “The JC will work on a calendar system for the appointment and retirement of judges on the basis of personal details. We will not leave any room for confusion over judges' retirement in future,” he said.
“Since there are so many complaints pending at the JC against judges we will investigate these properly through maintaining good records of their date of birth, retirement and other issues relating to their service.”