Call to scrap parliamentary hearing of apex court justicesThe third National Conference of Judges ended on Friday with a conclusion that the ongoing parliamentary hearing of the Supreme Court justices must be scrapped.
The third National Conference of Judges ended on Friday with a conclusion that the ongoing parliamentary hearing of the Supreme Court justices must be scrapped.
Issuing a 29-point declaration, the three-day conference has stated that the system of parliamentary hearing before the appointment of justices was basically a practice where presidential rule is followed and the executive appoints the justices. “Having adopted the parliamentary system, Nepal has been following the system of appointing justices on the recommendation of judicial and constitutional councils since 1990. So the existing parliamentary hearing for chief justice and justices of the Supreme Court has no significance,” reads the declaration.
Pressing for scrapping of the parliamentary hearing system, the justices claimed that the appointment of justices have been made an issue of political controversy, baseless publicity were made against the recommended justices and ultimately affects on the dignity and sensitivity of the independent judiciary. “The conference is strongly committed to the scrapping of the parliamentary hearing of justices,” the declaration states.
Similarly, the conference has also proposed that the high courts be allowed to look into the disputes between provinces and local units, claiming that it would help promote federalism and strengthen the ownership of the provinces towards high courts. “A powerful and resourceful high court should be developed in each province as per the spirit of Article 139 of the constitution,” it states.
Judges from across the country have also expressed concerns over the provision of presenting Supreme Court’s annual report to the President, saying that it was against the spirit of the independent judiciary while proposing to make it public instead.
The judges were also against the existing structure of the Judicial Council led by the chief justice when it comes to taking disciplinary action against erroneous judges. “We are for a mechanism in the leadership of chief justice including senior most SC justices or the one with a majority of SC justices to take disciplinary action against judges in an independent, objective and professional manner.”
Concerns have also been raised over the provision of discussing on the impeachment motion against the chief justice or Supreme Court justices if three members of the House of Representatives issue notice claiming that was against the spirit of independent judiciary.
“There must be a provision of beginning the impeachment process only after allegations against the chief justice or the SC justice were proven,” states the declaration. Objecting to the ‘ever changing’ order of precedence, the judges have urged the government to develop an appropriate order for judges as per the national and international practices.
Similarly, they have also expressed concern over the ‘unverified, immature’ media reports blaming the judiciary on the sub-judice cases, calling on the media to become more responsible while carrying such news reports.