Demands lottery-based cause lists in district courts, high courts, and Special Court


As the Supreme Court prepares to launch lottery-based cause list tomorrow, the Nepal Bar Association issued a press release warning Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana against drawing lotteries and forming his own bench. The lawyers' umbrella body also warned SC justices against sharing bench with the CJ.

The lawyers' umbrella body also asked lawyers to boycott Rana's bench if he drew lotteries and formed his own bench. The NBA demanded that the SC full court amend regulations of district courts, high courts and the Special Court to start lottery-based cause lists in those courts as well. The NBA asked its lower chapters to continue their protest in lower courts until the regulations of district courts, high courts, and the Special Court were amended.

According to SC Spokesperson Baburam Dahal, the SC lists between 200 and 250 cases for hearing every day and the court would complete the lottery-based cause list within 45 minutes. Justices will sit on the division bench as per the lottery-based draws every day and benches will be formed on the basis of cluster of cases. The SC has been conducting bulk hearings by putting similar nature of cases in one bench.

The NBA and other justices are protesting against the CJ for allegedly seeking to appoint his brother-in-law a minister in the Sher Bahadur Deuba Cabinet and delaying the hearing of cases filed against appointments to constitutional bodies. The NBA has also blamed Rana for stalling judicial reforms, including automation-based cause list as suggested by the Justice Hari Krishna Karki-led committee.

NBA Vice-president Rakshya Basyal said lawyers would continue representing their clients in courts from tomorrow when the lottery-based cause list would be launched, but their protest against the CJ would continue in different forms. She said launching lottery-based cause list, one of the key and longstanding demands of the NBA, was a major achievement.

She said if the SC full court wanted, it could launch lottery-based cause lists in the lower courts as well.

Basyal said NBA office bearers would hold a meeting tomorrow and decide on the next phase of protests. Today, NBA office bearers held a meeting with office bearers of other bar units in Kathmandu valley. She said office bearers of other bar units of Kathmandu valley suggested that they continue their protest in other bar units and not at the SC as the CJ was down with COVID-19. "We did not shout any slogans against the CJ today.

We deem it inappropriate to shout slogans against the CJ when he is undergoing treatment for COVID-19," Basyal added.

Dissident justices of the SC who had been protesting against CJ Rana till today said they would not share any bench with Rana.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 1, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.