Judicial Council ‘sitting’ on SC notice against judges

Kathmandu, November 14:

The Judicial Council is yet to implement a special judicial notice issued by the Supreme Court seven months ago to examine the competency of two appeal judges.

In the special judicial notice, the apex court had referred the Chief Justice headed Judicial Council to examine the capability of two Appellate Court judges Bishwonath Joshi and Dipak Raj Joshi. The SC had charged the judges’ duo of acquitting a drug peddler illegally. Currently, Bishwonath is a judge of the Butwal Appellate Court and Dipak Raj Joshi is a judge of the Rajbiraj Appellate Court.

According to a legal brain, verdict was the first of its kind passed by the SC against lower court judges as per the Judicial Council (Working Procedure) Regulation 2056 BS.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, secretary of the Judicial Council, Kashi Raj Dahal said today the Council would initiate action against the judges soon. The SC justices, in the course of deciding an appeal against the judges’ verdict, had referred the case to the anti-corruption judicial body. “Doubts are there about the competence of the judges; thus this judicial notice has been issued to the Judicial Council to check their capability,” the text of the judgment passed on March 24, 2005 by the SC stated. Interestingly, the then Acting Chief Justice, Lamsal, is now a royal nominee of the Judicial Council.

The SC had overturned the judgement passed by the appeal judges from the Ilam Appellate Court and slapped two years’ jail term with a fine Rs 15,000 on drug peddler Harka Bahadur Limbu who had got a clean chit by the appeal judges. The appeal judges, however, had given clean chit.

The Supreme Court had said there was no ground to acquit Limbu as he had confessed to his crime before the district court and the office of the government attorney. The apex court also said that it was illegal to give a clean chit to confessed drug peddlers.