KATHMANDU: Minister for Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly Affairs Dev Gurung on Friday warned the Supreme Court (SC) not to intervene in political issues.
"The Supreme Court should perform a balanced role. It does not have the authority to intervene in political issues," Gurung said. The Law Minister also added that sacking of Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal was a political issue. Stating that the judiciary did not give its verdict on military coup anywhere in the world, Gurung said the judiciary alone cannot cure all ills. Gurung was speaking at a programme on the role of judiciary in people’s supremacy organised by Nepal National Employees’ Organisation in judiciary today.
The law minister also warned that the judiciary would lose independence and public trust if it made an unlawful decision. He claimed that the President cannot appoint or sack the CoAS while the government reserves the right to do so. "The President’s move to overrule the cabinet decision is unconstitutional," Gurung added.
UCPN-M Constituent Assembly member Eak Raj Bhandari accused the judiciary of being influenced by the elite, resulting in justice denial for the common people. He also stressed the need for restructuring the judiciary.
Raman Kumar Shrestha, General Secretary, Nepal Bar Association, said the public can rightfully comment on the verdicts and orders of the SC. Citing that the UML had launched a street protest against the House dissolution, Shrestha said the judiciary was not free of criticism.
Civil society leader Shyam Shrestha said foreign forces and the Army had reigned supreme in Nepal. "This has posed a danger in the peace process," he added. Shrestha also accused President Dr Yadav of breaching the Comprehensive Peace Accord.
A version of this article appears in print on May 15, 2009 of The Himalayan Times.