Government attorneys put off protest

Kathmandu, January 25

Four trade unions that had been boycotting court proceedings in protest of the Judicial Council’s recent decision to recommend 80 High Court judges have postponed their protest.

Gajaraj Ghimire, chair of Trade Union of Civil Servants, chapter of Office of Attorney General, told THT that protesting trade unions decided to postpone their protest keeping in mind assurances given by Chief Justice Sushila Karki and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak that proportional inclusion of government attorneys would be ensured in future while appointing judges.

Ghimire said the CJ assured them that judges would be appointed as per the constitutional and legal provisions in future. He said government attorneys would attend court proceedings from tomorrow.

Ghimire said the four trade unions decided to postpone and not end their protest as assurances by the CJ were not reflected in a release issued by the JC today. “Both the CJ and the law minister had admitted that some mistakes were made while recommending 80 High Court judges and said such mistakes would not be repeated in future. But this has not been reflected in the release,” he said, adding that the trade unions would wait to see whether or not the CJ’s assurances would be fulfilled in future appointment of judges.

“If not we will resort to protest again,” he warned. Ghimire said the JC would appoint some district court judges and two High Court judges soon and the trade unions would see whether or not the assurances made by JC would be fulfilled in new appointments.

Meanwhile, the JC issued a press release saying its attention was drawn to the demands raised by trade unions and the Government Attorneys Society. The JC said representatives of Government Attorneys Society and senior government attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General met two members of the JC — Padam Prasad Baidik and Ram Prasad Sitaula — who told them that the decision to recommend 80 High Court judges was taken as per the spirit of the constitution and the laws and such decisions would be taken as per the constitutional provisions and Section 5 of the Judicial Council Act in future too.

Minister Nayak, however, said the JC’s release that said it would make recommendation in future as per the constitution and Section 5 of the Judicial Council Act was enough to address the issues.

“Now the trade unions should not have any grudges. The Judicial Council cannot state any quota for government attorneys or else other staff of Judicial Service could also demand for the same,” he added.