Gurung’s seal on legal eagles’ appellate hope

Kathmandu, February 16:

Minister for Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly Affairs Dev Gurung today said that senior advocates were willing to assume the responsibility of judges of appellate courts. “Senior advocates are ready to take up the job,” Gurung told The Himalayan Times.

The minister’s statement coincides with the Judicial Council’s (JC) latest task at hand. The JC is making preparation to appoint 33 Appellate Court judges, including 10 Chief Judges. More than 200 lawyers are vying for the vacant posts.

At present, the JC is scrutinising the application of the candidates.

“Senior advocates are eligible as long as they fulfil the age criterion,” said Gurung, who is also an ex-officio member of the JC.

It may be recalled that the JC, headed by the Chief Justice, decided to give priority to senior advocates while appointing judges for appellate courts.

A lawyer with 10 years of experience as advocate is eligible for the prestigious post.

Senior bureaucrats in legal service and veteran public prosecutors, too, are eyeing

these vacancies.

Madhav Paudel, secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly, Dr Kul Ratna Bhurtel, legal secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, Mohan Banjade, secretary, Nepal Law Commission, Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena, registrar, Supreme Court and Kashi Raj Daha,

chairman, Administrative Court, are keen on the job.

Also, in the fray are Prakash Kumar Dhungana, secretary, Judicial Council, Deputy Attorney Generals Pushpa Raj Koirala and Tika Bahadur Hamal.

“We don’t want quota for any particular service. They should be appointed purely on the basis of merit,” argued a contender.

“However, the same set of rules should be applied while selecting judges from members of Nepal Bar Association (NBA),” he said.

The NBA has been seeking 50 per cent quota for judges from its fraternity.