Govt accused of attacking judiciary’s independence

Kathmandu, September 23:

Lawyers today accused the government of attacking the judiciary’s independence through its programme to expand the benches of the Supreme Court to Biratnagar and Nepalgunj.

Shambhu Thapa, former president of the Nepal Bar Association, said, “It is the test of the government and all lawyers should oppose the move.”

He was speaking at an interaction organised by Constitutional Lawyers’ Forum.

“Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai cannot decide on judicial matter through his budget speech,” he said.

“This is a first attack of this government on the judiciary,” Thapa said, adding that

the plan contradicts with the concept of independence of judiciary.

The Finance Minister, Thapa said, did not have the authority to decide on increasing or decreasing the number of SC benches.

Former A-G Badri Bahadur Karki also accused the government of launching the plan without proper study. “Such a programme is unacceptable,” he said, adding that “such a power cannot be exercised by other bodies than the CA”.

President of Democratic Lawyers’ Forum Upendra Keshari Neupane urged the government to determine the process of extending SC benches only through the new constitution. Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya and forum;s president Tika Ram Bhattarai also opposed the plan.

They said the plan reflected the intention of the government to interfere with the

judicial independence.