KATHMANDU, Jan 20: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday defended its decision to provide what it called 'motivation allowances' to the SC justices effective from November 17.
Issuing a press release, SC Spokesperson Narayan Panthi claimed that the performance of the justices has significantly changed after the apex court began conducting hearings for additional time.
The press release says, “The attention of this court has been drawn towards the news published and broadcast in various media on the additional allowance to be given to the justices of this court.” Stating that various efforts are being made to handle the heavy workload at the court, the apex court also claimed that this initiative of hearing cases for additional time has been made as per the Supreme Court Rules.
The apex court also made public the progress report of the December-January month of three years. In December-January of 2016, each SC justice decided 42 cases and the apex court decided 843 cases; in 2017 each justice had decided 45 cases and the apex court had decided 902 cases while 56 cases were decided by each SC justice in the last December-January and total 1,106 cases were decided by the Supreme Court in the year.
The government recently decided to provide 50 percent of their salaries as 'motivation allowance' to the justices of the Supreme Court (SC) if they work two hours extra daily.
As per a decision of the Council of Ministers on December 28, 2017, the government has already corresponded to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and the SC for providing such allowances to the justices. Chief Secretary of the government, Lokdarshan Regmi has stated in a letter sent to the law secretary that the decision has already been made and the SC justices will be provided the allowance effective from November 17.
Earlier, in a proposal, the apex court had asked the government to allocate Rs 7,750,000 annually for the allowances to the justices for their additional work. As per Rule 3(4) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2017, the Chief Justice has the power to assign justices for additional hours.
The apex court had forwarded its proposal to the government in September last year anticipating that the justices could decide 5,760 additional cases in the extra hours annually.
“However, the performance of the court cannot be evaluated only on the basis the quantity of work,” the apex court stated in the press release issued on Friday. It also claimed that the group hearing of cases has also increased the performance of the SC justices justifying the positive results of the apex court efforts to provide justice on time.