SC justices urged to take stand on CJ’s comment

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 12:

Legal experts today urged the Supreme Court Justices to convene a full-court meeting and come up with a clear stance on the recent controversial speech delivered by Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma in Australia. Chief Justice Sharma, presenting a working paper on Terrorism and Rule of Law in the 11th Chief Justices conference of Asia and the Pacific, had opined that the King was compelled to take over the reins of power as the parties had failed to deliver good governance. Stressing the need to convene a full-court meeting and come up with a stance on the controversial speech, Subash Chandra Nembang, a legal expert and former law minister, said that people can question the role of justices in maintaining the independence of the judiciary if the move is not taken. He was speaking at a programme titled ‘Independence Judiciary and NBA’s Role for the Supremacy of the Constitution.’ embang added that the Chief Justice had tarnished the image of the Supreme Court.

Urging the Chief Justice to take responsibility for failing to maintain the independence of the judiciary, Nembang urged the former to step down. “The controversial situation should not remain for a long time, for it will further tarnish the image of the judiciary.” Retired Supreme Court Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal said that Chief Justice Sharma’s act of legitimising the royal step was an attack on the independence of the judiciary. “Being an agent of the King, he legitimised the February 1 move,” Aryal said, adding that Sharma’s act had violated the independence of the judiciary. “He is the Chief Justice who wants to keep the judiciary under the executive against the spirit of the 1990 Constitution,” Aryal said, urging the lawyers and the people to oppose his act strongly. A National Assembly member and senior advocate, Radheshyam Adhikary, said that justices should also be accountable to the people. Constitutional lawyer Purnaman Shakya said that two forces — one from within the judiciary and the other from outside — have been tarnishing the image of the judiciary. Stating that the internal attack is more dangerous than the external one, he called on the NBA to counter it.

‘Meet impossible’

KATHMANDU: Though legal experts have urged the justices to convene a full-court meeting, a Supreme Court justice told this daily on Tuesday that such a meeting cannot be convened since no one except the Chief Justice can set the agenda for the same. “How can we discuss such an issue, which is against the interest of the Chief Justice,” he said on the condition of anonymity. — HNS