Nepal | March 30, 2020

Tarai district court judges return to Kathmandu

To remain in the capital till ‘normalcy returns’ to the districts

Ram Kumar Kamat

Kathmandu, September 3

District Court judges of Dhanusha, Mahottari and Rautahat have submitted applications at the Supreme Court seeking to sign their attendance at the apex court till normalcy returns to these districts and their request has been accepted.

Concerned about their safety in the face of ongoing general strike and protests in the Tarai districts, judges of these districts have started signing their attendance at the SC from today, said assistant spokesperson for the apex court Bishwa Raj Paudel.

According to Paudel, district court judges of Dhanusha (Arjun Koirala, Dipak Khanal, Rajendra Kumar Acharya, Dipak Dahal and Narayan Parajuli), Mahottari (Kiran Pokharel, Prakash Dhungana and Ram Prasad Sharma) and Rautahat (Krishna Bahadur Thapa, Laxami Ram Dhungana, Keshav Adhikari and Shree Prakash Upreti) have sought to remain in the capital till normalcy returns to the Tarai districts.

According to SC Registrar Shrikant Paudel, district court judges of Bara and Parsa districts have also left their work districts for security concerns.

SC Assistant Spokesperson Paudel said the prolonged general strike imposed by Madhesi and Tharu forces in Tarai districts had adversely affected the judicial administration.   One of the district court judges of Mahottari told THT on condition of anonymity that all offices except the District Administration Office, District Police Office and District Court had remained closed since the protesting parties announced general strike.

“General strike has affected people’s mobility across the Tarai and we have not been getting many service seekers. Only those who have urgent court work come,” the judge said and added that they decided to leave the district fearing for their safety.

Mahottari judge said though courts or court officials had not been targeted by the protesters, he was concerned about his safety. Since the current protest is not under any protesting force’s control and as there was real risk of communal clashes, the judges decided to leave the district, he added.

He said, “It is difficult to predict protesters’ behaviour in such a tense situation.” He added that judges were at risk also because they could always be targeted by those against whom they had delivered adverse verdicts.

He said their absence would not affect those who needed urgent court service, as there would be the registrar who would handle the arraignment of the accused and grant court dates.

“Our absence won’t affect urgent work. Only the delivery of justice and reconciliation between two sides will be affected,” the judge added. The decisions taken by registrar in cases will have to be endorsed by the judges when they return to their duty.

He said district court judges of Sarlahi were also preparing to leave the districts over security fears.

A version of this article appears in print on September 04, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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