Kathmandu, January 20
Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today said that he had not faced any political or external pressure and he did not think that he would face any such pressure in future.
In an informal interaction with Judicial Journalists’ Forum at his chamber today, CJ Rana said he would not buckle under pressure. If anybody tried to exert pressure on the judiciary, then that would not work as the judiciary adjudicated cases on the basis of constitution, laws, precedents and universally accepted principles of justice, he added.
He said his decision to transfer five Biratnagar High Court judges to the Judicial Council was based on a JC’s Monitoring Committee’s report that indicated possible error in their judgments and orders but that did not mean that they were guilty. “These high court judges were deployed on deputation at JC because they need to be quizzed,” he said, adding, “ When a committee writes something, the SC needs to act on it. If the SC delays action that can undermine judiciary’ prestige.”
CJ Rana, however, said the media outlets erred by covering the news with photos of the five Biratnagar High Court judges who were transferred to the JC. CJ Rana also said the SC transferred other High Court judges to Biratnagar High Court as they met criteria for transfer and other judges needed to replace the five judges in Biratnagar High Court.
Asked on how he would crackdown on middlemen in the judiciary, he said middlemen had created their wide network which needed to be dismantled by enacting a new law. CJ Rana said before the enactment of new law, he was in favour of punishing the middlemen under contempt of court law.
In response to another question, CJ Rana said he would not object to automation based cause list if that was the best option, but he did not think that such a cause list was the best option. He said media was free to make healthy criticism of judicial processes but they should not dishonour the court verdicts and orders.
A version of this article appears in print on January 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.