Bill on formation of Administrative Court registered

Kathmandu, June 21

The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has registered a new bill related to formation of Administrative Court, proposing to give the court sole and wider jurisdiction over the cases related to dismissal, transfer and promotion of  government officials, including officials of corporations.

If this new bill is passed in its current form, it can reduce the workload of the Supreme Court which has a huge backlog of cases to adjudicate.

Chairperson of Administrative Court Kashi Raj Dahal said that if the bill was enacted into law in its current form, it could help reduce the workload of the Supreme Court by 40 per cent. “Currently 40 per cent cases that the SC hears are related to transfer, dismissal and promotion of the government officials,” Dahal added.

He said the SC should adjudicate cases related to fundamental and legal rights of the people and it should not devote its important time and resources in cases related to transfer, promotion and dismissal of government employees.

Chair of Nepali Congress affiliated Nepal  Nijamati Karmachari Union Gopal Prasad Pokharel said the bill’s provision to give Administrative Court the sole jurisdiction over administrative issues, such as transfer, promotion and departmental action was a good move as it would rid the Supreme Court of unnecessary burden.

“But we can see the efficacy of the bill only after the formation of Administrative Court under the new law. What is important is the Administrative Court should be able to maintain its neutrality in cases,” he added.

Section 7 (2) of the bill stipulates that if there is an authority to hear the memorandum of appeal against a government body’s decision related to promotion and departmental action as per any other law, then the aggrieved party can file an appeal at the Administrative Court only after exhausting the first legal recourse. “I am happy that this bill has been registered in the upper house of the Parliament. We have been trying to have such legal provision for the last 20 years,” Dahal said and added that some government officials had tried to draft the bill in 2012, but they could not push the process through.

The bill also proposes that administrative benches could be formed in High Courts which could hear the cases related to transfer, promotion and dismissal of government employees. “This means that people from far flung areas will not have to come to Kathmandu to contest their cases,” he added. The bill proposes that memorandum of appeals can be filed at the Supreme Court against the verdict of Administrative Court only after the   Supreme Court grants leave for the same.

Under the current system, aggrieved parties can file writ petitions without having to seek permission from the apex court.