Ensure access to justice: CJ

Kathmandu, July 19

Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha said that only five per cent population had access to judicial service and one of the toughest challenges he faced was to increase people’s access to justice.

In an interaction held with mediapersons here today, CJ Shrestha said he was more concerned about delivering timely justice and district and appellate courts were doing well to dispose cases within a year.

“There are only exceptional cases that are 18 or 24 months old in the lower courts,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court was struggling hard to deal with old cases. Currently there are over 22,000 cases at the SC.

He said he had been collecting cause lists from lower courts and their case disposal records everyday to ensure that the case disposal rate of the lower courts was satisfactory.

CJ Shrestha said lack of enough number of judges was the main reason why the Supreme Court was not being able to dispose old cases in time. “There are structural problems as far as the appointment of judges is concerned and that needs to be fixed,” he added.

CJ Shrestha said the judiciary and the press were supplementary institutions and their cooperative role was always expected in democracy.

He said the press should not hesitate to point out mistakes of the judiciary but should not argue against the independence of the judiciary.

“Our relations should be professional and based on the principle of justice. If we can maintain these relations, we will serve the cause of democracy,” he added.

He said contempt of court case happened  when the judiciary could not ensure compliance with its judgment.