Two-tier appointment of judges proposed

KATHMANDU: CA committee on judiciary today endorsed a two-tier mechanism - central and provincial - to appoint judges in the respective courts by a majority vote.

The committee passed the Maoist-backed agenda through a voting. Out of 42 CA members, 24 voted for the two-tier system and 18 opted for the present Judicial Council for appointing judges at all levels. UCPN-M, Madheshi Janadhikar Forum and few fringe parties voted for the two-tier while Nepali Congress and CPN-UML opted for reformed JC for the appointment.

The committee will be sending the approved clause of the judge-appointment mechanism to the full meeting of the CA for further discussion. However, the provision will not be the part of the new constitution until a two-third majority approves it from the full CA meeting.

The committee is scheduled to take a decision tomorrow on whether to appoint judges from a parliamentary committee or judicial council. The UCPN-M is lobbying for the former system while NC and UML the latter. Meanwhile, the Maoists wanted to appoint judges by a central and provincial parliamentary committee.

The committee has already passed Maoist backed two agenda - reappointment of judges in the transition after promulgating the new constitution and the provision of appointing Chief Justice even from out of the Supreme Court. The committee is yet to decide on which body - the SC or the legislature - should be the final to interpret the constitution and the laws. The Maoists are lobbying for later provision while NC and UML are in support of former one. The agenda of either the JC or the legislature should take action against judges is also unsolved in the committee yet, said Krishna Murari Shivakoti, under secretary of the committee.