Wake up call

That the Supreme Court (SC) has come up with the verdict for the government to set up verdict execution units in all the ministries is noteworthy all because of the fact that as of present there is no specific mechanism that exists with the government for the stated purpose. Even a casual study of the verdict record book is enough to reveal that in the post-1990 years out of the Apex Court verdicts on about 400 PILs (Public Interest Litigations), only one-third have been implemented. For such verdicts to remain pending indicates the lethargic pace of the government ministries, and excuse of any sort cannot be justified. But, that seems the way that bureaucracy works when the accountability factor is not respected in the interest of the people for whom it matters the most. It may be of interest to note that even the directive on Bagmati river clean-up has remained in limbo. The frustration of the SC is evident in its recent order concerning a petition that had been filed with it. It is a good thrust considering the fact that the SC verdicts sets precedents but the non-execution of that is painful, which even the Court itself is unaware of till another PIL comes up for review. It is a matter of great concern that the orders of the SC that has to be executed as per the constitutional provision remain unfulfilled to quite an extent. And the government ministries remain the major defaulters in this regard.

Now that the SC has given a deadline of four months to the government to set up the execution units in all the ministries, it is a matter of time to observe the execution of the said order.

It may be worthwhile noting that though every ministry has a legal cell, the Apex Court verdict on PILs seem to have been disregarded. On this score, the special cells for such in each ministry can facilitate the execution aspect for SC orders. SC is cognizant of the urgency for its verdicts on PILs to be executed, but its monitoring mechanism too needs to be spruced up and appropriate action taken if there is any non-compliance by any individual, organisation or government line agencies. In fact, going a step further the non-execution of the SC verdicts itself implies impunity which cannot be allowed at any cost. But, for eliminating such tendencies the Apex Court itself has to be severe enough to penalise the wayward. Appropriate punishment can only deter the tendency to be indifferent to the verdicts of the honourable SC.

The Supreme Court is a hallowed temple of justice, and its judgments have to receive the right reception by everyone including the government.

No one can evade what the verdicts refer to. But, it has been seen that sometimes there is a gap of

years between a SC order and its execution. Herein it may be worthwhile noting that the SC has the right to initiate the “contempt of court” exercise if any of its orders are not executed. This, if taken up, can dissuade the apathetic lot. However, for this the SC itself has to keep its verdict monitoring mechanism on its toes. The recent SC order is but a start, and the wait is for how the government ministries fall in line with it for it concerns the interest of the people in general.

Some anti-bandh

Students in Birgunj like those elsewhere seem to have had enough of bandhs. Fed up with the so-called bandh culture when a bandh closed their schools and colleges Monday they took to the streets against the politicization of the education

sector. It might be recalled that six months ago the political parties and the other concerned stakeholders had decided to declare the education institutions bandh-free zones. But, it seems that this has not been taken seriously and bandhs have resulted in frequent closures of the educational institutions. Thus, the students and their guardians are very much worried about their studies and future. Under the circumstances, there was little the students could do, but it does not mean that they should resort to burning tyres.

However, we should sympathize with the lot of the students of present day Nepal. The bandhs have led to the alteration of the academic calendar as classes and examinations could not be held as scheduled. In any case, it behooves on all to bear with the plight of the students so that they may be allowed to continue on with their studies unhindered for

a better future.