KATHMANDU, July 23
Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha on Thursday said that if independence of judiciary was compromised in the new constitution, it would be conspiracy against democracy.
Addressing an interaction organised by Appellate Court Bar Association, Patan, Shrestha said a weak judiciary would not be able to uphold citizens’ fundamental rights. “In the draft constitution, there are almost 30 fundamental rights and some are inherent rights. A week judiciary cannot protect all these rights,” he added.
CJ Shrestha said financial and administrative autonomy was necessary to ensure independence of judiciary. “But we do not have financial autonomy. Nor do we have the powers to frame our own regulations,” Shrestha said.
He said the judiciary should not be undermined and even if somebody had any grudges against a verdict, the remedy should be sought from the judiciary and not outside it.
Justice Sushila Karki said the draft constitution split some sentences of the Interim constitution to show that it was expanding the scope of fundamental rights, but without state’s capacity to fulfill obligations, these rights could not be implemented.
Nepal Bar Association Chair Hari Krishna Karki said draft constitution has proposed to bar people under house arrest from seeking legal counsel, which is wrong.
NBA General Secretary Sunil Kumar Pokharel said financial autonomy, fair appointment of judges, judges accountability and post retirement were all related to independence of judiciary.
“We need to think about Indian model where a candidate is rejected from judgeship if he or she is rejected by two out of six members of the appointment panel,” Pokharel added.
Advocate Govinda Bandi said the draft constitution proposed to keep the judiciary under political supervision which was against the principle of independence of judiciary.
A version of this article appears in print on July 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.