Execution of judgments continues to be a challenge
Kathmandu, October 3
Judgment execution remains a challenge for the judiciary with the total years of prison sentences to be served by convicts accumulating to 113,024 years and total amount of fines to be collected from them accumulating to Rs 11.67 billion.
Chief Justice Om Prakash Ghimire had announced in his confirmation hearing that he would make this year the year of judgment execution.
The judiciary had launched a special campaign to expedite judgement in some districts where the years of jail sentences to be served by convicts and the amount of fines to be collected from them and judgment debtors was higher.
In the fiscal year that ended in mid-July 2015, the concerned agencies nabbed the convicts who served 4,611 years of jail sentences and collected a total of Rs 1,036,615,995 in fines. In the fiscal year that ended in mid-July 2016, the collected fines jumped to almost Rs 1.79 billion, but the jail sentences served by the convicts decreased to 1,910 years. In the fiscal year that ended in mid-July 2,017, jail sentences served by the convicts decreased to 1,622 years and collected fine amount to Rs 636,761,110.
In the fiscal year that ended in mid-July 2018, only 1,332 years 11 months and 20 days of jail sentences were served. In this fiscal, only Rs 298,565,282 in fines was collected.
A government official at the Judgement Execution Directorate said on condition of anonymity that the drop in the rate of execution of judgment under special programme was due to deployment of court officials on poll duties. The source said that in some border areas government officials were facing difficulties in nabbing convicts because of the open border which the convicts often used to their advantage. He also said that lack of human and economic resources — staff, police personnel and fuel for vehicles — was also affecting the judgment execution campaign.
He said judgments adjudicated 60 to 70 years ago were also to be executed. “But under Section 160 (2) of the new penal procedure code that came into effect on August 17, we are allowed to strike off the records of those convicts who have not served their sentences or not paid their fines after many years. This law stipulates that names of some convicts can be struck off after 50, 30, 20 and 12 years depending on the seriousness of their crimes for which they were convicted.
But this section also stipulates that if a convict, whose name has already been struck off, is found, then he/she will be put to jail for the unexecuted jail term,” the source said and added that the new penal code would help remove old records. “This means that if somebody’s name has been struck off the record, it will be less likely that he will be sent to the jail unless somebody lodges complaint against that person,” the source added.
The source also said that Rule 97 of the new District Court Regulation provided for barring essential government services to those who have not served their jail sentence or not paid their fines which would help the government agencies execute judgments. As per this rule, the courts could write to service provider offices, including the local levels and police offices, telling them to bar services to those who have not served their jail sentences and who have not paid their fines.