NBA announces protest programmes

Kathmandu, January 28

Nepal Bar Association has announced protests from Monday against the Judicial Council's recommendation for the appointment of 80 High Court judges.

Issuing a press release today, the lawyers' umbrella body said it would organise an assembly of lawyers on Monday to inform them of the unconstitutional and illegal acts of the Judicial Council.

The NBA is opposing the JC's decision to recommend 80 High Court judges saying it violates legal and constitutional provisions, particularly that of proportional inclusion guaranteed by the constitution.

The NBA said all its units will wear black arm-bands from 10:00am to 12 noon on January 31 and lawyers will boycott pleadings in all the courts for three hours from 10:00am to 1:00pm on February 1.  The NBA has also asked lawyers not to participate in any programme organised by Chief Justice Sushila Karki and the Supreme Court.

Similarly the NBA and its units will not invite the chief justice as a guest or a participant in any of their programmes.  The NBA added that bar members would not appear before the court as amicus curiae until the constitutional bench was formed.

The NBA urged the chief justice and chair of the Judicial Council to address its demands saying it would resort to stronger protests if its demands were not addressed.

The NBA said the JC's midnight recommendation regarding appointment of 80 High Court judges when two of its members were absent was against Article 42, 140, 153 and Section 5 (1) of the Judicial Council Act.

The lawyers' umbrella body also said the recommendation violated the principle of proportional inclusion and did not ensure enough representation of women, Dalits, indigenous nationalities, backward regions and Madhesis.

The NBA said the recommendation was against the spirit of independent and competent judiciary and accountability of the judiciary. It alleged that CJ Karki had adopted a policy of negation when she refused to meet representatives of NBA and Supreme Court Bar Association on Tuesday when they wanted to submit an ultimatum.

NBA General Secretary Khamma Bahadur Khati said if the demands were not met, the lawyers’ umbrella body would resort to stronger modes of protest and could even seek resignation of Judicial Council office bearers.