Kathmandu, April 3

Judicial independence is for protecting citizens’ rights and not for ensuring immunity of the judges, said President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

She was speaking at the three-day judges’ conference that kicked off here today.

Since there have been attempts to defame all state organs judiciary alone is not immune from such tendency, according to President Bhandari. “No attempts should be made to defame the entire institution just for the fault of an individual,” she said.

Stating that people’s faith was an invaluable asset of judiciary, the president said judges should have judicial integrity, and that they should remain committed to their code of conduct. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” she reminded.

Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana said judiciary should work on result-oriented programmes in order to ensure judicial good governance. “Judiciary should maintain professional fairness in its actions, and judges should also be ready for introspection,” he added.

Rana said the conference would discuss some pertinent issues, including judiciary’s role in implementing federalism and in ensuring effective implementation of new civil and penal code. It shall also suggest new measures of reform in the fourth strategic five-year plan of the judiciary.

Rana also said those criticizing judiciary should be mindful of the fact that ill irresponsible comments could undermine the dignity of the judiciary.

Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said the government was assisting the judiciary with required resources and that the government had no intention to encroach the jurisdiction of the judiciary.

Justifying JC’s latest nomination, Dhakal said that the council had reached a unanimous decision.

President of the Nepal Bar Association Sher Bahadur KC said the new CJ had initiated reforms in the judiciary. However, actions were taken against judges for their verdicts in certain cases.

If a judge errs, he/she should be punished, but no judge should be punished for honestly fulfilling his duties, he argued.

Attorney General Agni Prasad Kharel said the principle of independence of judiciary required the judiciary to act without fear. He said his office would make efforts to help the cause of enhancing people’s faith in judiciary.

Chairperson of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina said the new leadership of judiciary had the responsibility to ensure people’s easy access to justice and speedy delivery of justice.

A total of 393 judges from District Courts, High Courts and the Supreme Court are taking part in the three-day conference.