Nepal | July 13, 2020

Govt bodies defy apex court directives

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, January 15

Execution of the Supreme Court’s directives, issued to ensure people’s fundamental rights, remains a challenge.

According to the Judgment Execution Directorate of the SC, ministries and government agencies have yet to implement 209 orders passed by the apex court.

The Supreme Court issued a directive to the government on 21 March 2018 telling it to ensure voting rights of Nepalis living abroad, but the government has not enacted a law to ensure the right.

On 25 May 2010, the SC passed a directive order in the case of Rajib Gurung versus Nita Gurngni, telling the government to enact laws relating to the use of DNA in paternity test, which has not been implemented by the government.

In response to a case filed by Manju Marasini, the SC passed a directive order on 4 February 2018, asking the government to formulate criteria for the appointment of ambassadors, but the government has yet to comply by this order.

The SC ordered the government on 3 July 2014 to test pollution causing vehicles outside Kathmandu and to prevent polluting vehicles from plying on the road, but the order is yet to be implemented.

In Arjun Kumar Aryal versus government case, the apex court ordered the government on 29 January 2018 to adopt necessary measures to discourage slaughter of animals at Gadhimai festival.

The order has not been implemented.

On 8 June 2016 the SC issued a directive order telling the government to provide shelter and maintenance to incapacitated and abandoned citizens, indigent women, children and elderly citizens. The government has yet to implement the order.

In Khadgamaya Pulami versus government case, the apex court issued an order on 17 May 2017, telling the government to establish burn unit in government hospitals and make provisions of free treatment for burn victims, which remains to be implemented.

Director of Judgement Execution Directorate of the SC Shiva Kumar Pokharel said in most of the public interest litigations the number of defendants was almost a dozen government bodies including ministries and they had the tendency to pass the buck when the JED issued reminders to the defendants.

“Although the government rules clearly stipulate functions and duties of the ministries, we often get letters from ministries stating that certain matters were not under their jurisdiction,” Pokharel added.

Pokharel said another reason why most of the directive orders were not implanted promptly was due to lack of clearly specified time frame to implement the directive orders.

“When the SC tells the government to do certain things in certain time, government agencies comply with the order within the stipulated time frame. They have tendency to ignore the directive orders that do not mention time frame,” he said. In a recent meeting held by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana with government secretaries, he had reminded them to implement the directive orders issued by the apex court.

A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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