The Baburam Bhattarai-led caretaker government seems to have lost track of all that has to be done to keep things moving smoothly in every sector.
The only game the government is interested is in is holding on to power at all cost, and, in the meanwhile, missing out on several urgent tasks. For
example, there is a dire shortage of judges in all the three tiers of the judiciary, which is inviting a crisis of significant proportion. The vacancies in the various levels of the judiciary has to be filled by the government, but no initiative has been undertaken so
far. Obviously, it is neglect of severe magnitude. This is all the more reason to be worried about, because, without the appointment of judges in the various courts, the judiciary cannot function smoothly by providing justice to the people concerned. This
will have a long-term effect on the justice-delivery mechanism. As it is, the judiciary has been blamed for the long years it takes to deliver its verdicts, and the piling up of cases waiting for the verdict has been increasing every year. Now, the lack of judges to man the various tiers of the judiciary will have an impact that cannot be gauged. It will be a setback of sorts of delivering justice.
The delay in the appointment of eligible judges to the various courts hinges on the Minister for Law, and as fate has it, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is holding the portfolio with him. So, it should have been his task to take the initiative for the appointment of the judges for the judiciary to
continue its task of justice delivery without any hitches. But, the disinterested PM Bhattarai seems to have his hands on
other issues rather than seeing the judiciary work effectively and efficiently. In fact, by taking back the cases against people who had been convicted by the courts, Bhattarai has
already shown his trait as one who wants to create obstacles for the judiciary. And, the delay in the
appointment is not because of his busy schedule but intentional.
However, the state of uncertainty has finally shaken up Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi because of the crisis that would engulf the judiciary if further delay takes place in the appointment of judges. The appellate and district courts have a pivotal role in justice delivery, and the shortage of judges will definitely mean that the right of the people to get justice will be denied. The problem here for the appointment of judges is that as per the relevant article of the Interim Constitution, parliamentary hearing must precede the appointment of Supreme Court judges. But, the country has no parliament at the moment. Therefore, the judicial leadership have suggested three ways, that is, appointment through hearing, without hearing in the absence of the Parliament and removing obstacles in the appointment through presidential power as per Article 155 of the Interim Constitution. This calls for PM Bhattarai to give attention to judicial affairs or to appoint a separate minister to look after the Law Ministry and not keep the judiciary hostage. Difficult days are in the offing for the judiciary if the prime minister dilly-dallies with the task of appointing the judges to the vacant posts.
Government employees, teachers and civil servants are provided with an allowance of Rs. 7,500 every year for uniforms. Although it is compulsory for them to abide by the dress code, we find very few of them following the requirement. Actually, the uniforms were meant for, among other things, to make them stand out in a crowd so that they could easily be identified. Also, the provision was mooted to enable the security forces to provide them with the necessary security when needed. Still, we find that the uniforms are not worn by the majority of them and the money that was supposed to be for uniforms is being misused. This is indeed a serous offence for it involves the money that comes from the state coffers of the hard-earned money of the taxpayers.
Therefore, it should be made clear as to the fact that the uniforms are compulsory for the government employees. All those who are to abide by the government dress code must be made to do so. And, anyone who does not wear the uniform while coming to office, ought to be barred from entry. No civil servant can be allowed to break the rule.