Kathmandu, March 25
Nepal Bar Association concluded its 14th national conference in Nepalgunj rejecting ‘unauthorised external concern and intervention’ on constitution amendment.
Issuing a 28-point declaration, the NBA said it was confident that the sovereign Parliament would ensure dynamism of the constitution and broaden its acceptance by amending the constitution as per necessity and rationale.
The NBA said the holding of local, provincial and parliamentary elections was an important step in the course of implementing the constitution, which paved the way for stability and economic prosperity.
Stating that people were increasingly complaining about corruption in the judiciary, the NBA said it wanted to draw the attention of the chief justice, Judicial Council and Nepal Bar Council to end problems of corruption which was taking place due to nexus among particular judges, staff, lawyers and go-betweens.
The NBA said in its declaration that it would not accept undue pressure and influence on the judiciary.
It urged all not to do anything that could infringe on the independence of judiciary. The NBA also urged the CJ and the Judicial Council to ensure periodic public disclosure of judges’ assets.
Stating that assigning of cases to benches became controversial many times, the NBA said that the judiciary should assign cases to benches on the basis of lottery.
The lawyers’ umbrella body said that all cases that could impose jail sentence on the accused should be adjudicated by the court and not by chief district officers. It urged the government to complete the remaining task of the peace process. It demanded amendment to the Truth and Reconciliation Act as per the order passed by the Supreme Court.
The NBA said that the current system of sending the accused to judicial custody in the process of adjudicating cases was against the spirit of criminal justice system and hence an alternative system should be developed and the accused should be send to judicial custody only in exceptional circumstances.
It also said the chief judges of High Courts should assign judges to the commercial benches.
The NBA urged the government to build capacity and prepare infrastructure to implement newly passed Civil Code Act and Criminal Code Act.
The lawyers’ body also urged the judiciary to form environment bench in the SC and other tiers of the courts. It also called for the enactment of investment-friendly laws in order to attract domestic and foreign investment.
Stating that discrepancies were seen in the interim orders issued by the Supreme Court, the NBA drew the attention of the SC’s full court to formulate regulation to maintain uniformity in the interim orders. It also urged the judiciary to keep records of all verdicts and orders passed by the judges.
The NBA drew the government’s attention to enact necessary laws within the stipulated deadline.
As per the constitutional provisions, the government will have to enact all necessary laws within three years from the date the constitution was promulgated to enable citizens to enjoy their fundamental rights.
The NBA also urged the stakeholders to arm the federal structures with much needed resources and capacity, and to enact federal laws on the concurrent lists of the governments as stipulated in the schedule of the constitution. The NBA also said that there should be separate National Natural Resources Commission and National Finance Commission.
A version of this article appears in print on March 26, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.