Panel suggests reducing appellate courts’ number

Ananta Raj Luitel

Kathmandu, July 10:

A panel formed a year ago under the chairmanship of the senior most justice of the Supreme Court, Dilip Kumar Paudel, recently submitted its report to Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma urging him to initiate necessary work to reduce the current number of appellate courts across the country. “We have submitted the report to the CJ a few days ago. Decision is yet to be taken on the panel’s suggestions,” a member of the panel told this daily. According to him, a full-court meeting of SC justices will soon take a decision whether to forward the suggestions to the government. “We have asked the judicial leadership to urge the Council of Ministers to reduce the number of appellate courts to nine or 11 from the existing 16,” he added. Justice Balram KC, acting SC registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena and District Court judge Hari Prasad Bagale were the members of the panel. The source added 16 appellate courts are unnecessary as there was insufficient workload for them due to the conflict. Five years ago, when Keshav Prasad Upadhayaya was the CJ, he had also asked the government to cut the number of appellate courts to nine. But the government did not take any decision. The council of ministers has the authority to fix the number of the courts.