Lawyers slam public hearing proviso

Kathmandu, June 18:

President of Nepal Bar Association, Bishwokanta Mainali, today said that the constitutional provision seeking public hearing on nominees before their appointment as Supreme Court judges is in violation of the independence of the judiciary. “We cannot accept such a provision because it does not make the judiciary independent,” he said. “This provision will politicise the judiciary.” “This provision also shows that MPs have been making decisions without taking the sensitivity of the institution into account.” “Why the parliament took such a decision without consulting the SC and the NBA?”

He was speaking at a programme held to welcome Motikaji Sthapit and Basudev Dhungana, the newly-appointed members of the judicial council. Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel urged the judiciary and the NBA to work together to protect judicial independence. MP and lawyer Harihar Dahal said, “We opposed the insertion of the provision in the constitution, but the parliament gave its nod.” Former president of the NBA, Shambhu Thapa, and senior advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari urged the judicial leadership to curb corruption in the judiciary.