Need to strengthen judicial committees stressed

Kathmandu, February 29

Former chief justice Kalyan Shrestha stressed the need of collective effort to strengthen judicial committees at local level. Speaking at a discussion programme on ‘Effective Implementation and Policy-level Discussion of Local Judicial Committees’, he said service should be provided for people at their doorsteps.

Every rural municipality or a municipality has a three-member judicial committee coordinated by its vice chair in rural municipality and deputy mayor in case of municipality, as per the Article 217 of the constitution.

Former CJ termed formation of judicial committees at local level a great achievement.

“Objective of the constitution is to ensure and promote justice and realisation of justice is not related just to court verdict,” Shrestha said. He underlined the need to implement the constitution to meet the aspiration of people. Speaking at the programme, former speaker of Constituent Assembly Subas Nembang said local levels were given executive, legislative and judicial rights to pass the power centred in Singhadurbar to villages.

Although judicial committees faced confusion in the initial days, they have now started functioning smoothly. However, decisions of the judicial committees have also raised questions from several quarters. Experts have advised the committees to exercise their judicial rights. National Assembly’s Delegation Management and Government Assurance Committee Chair Ramnarayan Bidari called for shunning the belief that a political figure should not be in the justice mechanism.

Judicial committees through effective functioning should prove this notion wrong, said Bidari.

Supreme Court Judge Prakashman Singh Raut said impartiality should be in the centre of any verdict.

Baglung’s Galkot Municipality judicial committee Coordinator Renuka Kauchha sought clarity at policy-level for smooth functioning of such committees.

In some cases, efforts were made to settle the case without registering a formal complaint. “We are facing question about the role of judicial committee, whether it is an arbitrary body, or a mediator or a decisive body,” she said.

Chitwan District Court Judge Hemant Rawal said judicial committees were working to install hope and enthusiasm among people. “Objectives and intention of the committees are clear and special attention should be given to maintain impartiality.”