KATHMANDU: A majority of the Constituent Assembly members today said the proposed provisions regarding the judiciary would invite “totalitarian regime” in the country.
A political party, which has majority in the legislature, can easily influence and control the judiciary if the proposed provisions were included in the new constitution, they argued. The CA members started deliberations on the report of the CA Committee on Judiciary today.
Lawmakers of the Unified CPN-Maoist and a few Madhesi parties spoke in favour of the report while Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and other parties said the proposed provisions were against democratic norms and values.
Many controversial issues, including reappointment of judges once the new constitution is promulgated, appointing judges from central and provincial
legislature, bringing the Chief Justice from outside the court
and giving the legislature the right to interpret constitution on political and some other issues, have been passed with the consent of Madhesi lawmakers to Maoist-backed issues in the CA Committee on Judiciary.
Agni Prasad Sapkota of UCPN-M claimed that the proposed provisions were not the copy of traditional communist system, rather they embodied scientific system. He said the UCPN-M wanted to bring the judiciary under the control of people, a provision not in existence at present.
Lawmakers of NC and UML, however, said since the legislature was the body represented by
political parties, its control of
the judiciary did not mean people’s control but the control of parties. “In such a situation, the judiciary cannot be impartial and independent.” They also said it was against the principle of separation of powers, which is a must for democracy.
Amod Prasad Upadhaya, an NC lawmaker, said the proposed provisions were nowhere in practice except in some communist and autocratic countries. “Judiciary is accountable to constitution and not the political parties.”
Ram Nath Dhakal of UML said the proposed provisions were against constitutional supremacy and federal principle. “Is it
people’s supremacy if the
legislature is given the three rights — promulgating law, interpreting it and hearing the complaints?” he questioned.
Surita Kumari Sah of MJF and Arabinda Sah of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party supported the proposed provisions stating that they had opened up opportunities to make the appointments of judges more inclusive.