Tarai unrest: Panel formed to study effect on courts

Kathmandu, July 23:

The Supreme Court today formed a panel to study the implications of the ongoing Tarai agitation in courts across the country.

A full court meeting of Supreme Court judges decided to form the panel under the coordination of Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha. Justices Sharada Prasad Pundit and Rajendra Kumar Bhandari are the members. The panel has been asked to submit its report within seven days.

The move comes at a time when dozens of court officials in the Tarai region have filed joint applications seeking transfer to hill districts citing security reasons. Agitators Tarai districts have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the court officials to leave the region.

“We have received complaints from officials working there. Closure of courts for any reason, whatsoever, is impossible and the newly formed panel will work to find out a better way to manage the crisis,” assistant spokesperson of the SC, Hemanta Rawal, said.

Rawal said the Rajbiraj district court has been closed for the past few days and other district courts in the region are facing serious problems.

Several court officials deputed in the Tarai region today met SC Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena and sought a solution to the crisis.

The full court meeting also decided to demand that authorities concerned — including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs — provide allowance to the court officials on a par with those government officials working at the Prime Minister’s Office, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the Parliament and the Special Court.

The meeting also formed a separate panel of justices to nominate legal practitioners to be honoured with the title of Senior Advocate. The panel headed by Justice Anup Raj Sharma has justices Bal Ram KC and Tahir Ali Ansari as members.