Nepal | June 02, 2020

EDITORIAL: Wheels of justice

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

An empowered and independent judiciary strengthens the foundation of democracy and keeps the wheels of justice turning

The Supreme Court in its annual report for 2017/18 has once again raised the issue of ever growing workload and lack of employees and resources. With the new civil and penal codes in place, the apex court says, the workload has further increased. As per the annual report, SC’s adjudication rate stands at 37.96 per cent. The high pendency rate at the court makes people feel they are deprived of justice. So, the apex court is right in saying it needs to be equipped with staff and other resources. The SC says it faces budget constraints as well. “Due to lack of predictability of budget, the apex court’s activities and overall plans are being affected,” the SC has noted. But just as SC has brought forth its grievances, it is of utmost importance to discuss some other crucial issues, which often put a spoke in the judiciary’s wheel.

There have been a lot of discussions of late over the independence of the judiciary and political interference in the judicial system. Time and again issues of irregularities and corruption in the judiciary also have surfaced. Some judgments have met with fierce criticisms, even from those who are — and were — part of the judiciary. Former chief justices have admitted presence of irregularities in the judiciary. These are indeed very serious issues. Every time a new chief justice has assumed office, we have heard promises of “cleaning up” the judiciary and making judicial process swift and efficient. But problems continue to persist. High profile cases remain pending for years. In some cases interim orders have been swiftly issued. There have also been reports of manipulation with the cause list — a system that schedules cases to be heard on a particular day. Some with power, position and money, reports suggest, even try to “pick and choose” the bench.

Against this backdrop, insufficient number of employees and lack of resources are not only the problems Nepal’s judiciary is facing. There are other underlying problems which need to be addressed. The judiciary is considered the third branch of a democratic government system with the legislature and the executive being the first two. In simple terms, the basic model is: the legislature makes the laws, the executive administers/executes them, and the judiciary — the system of courts — resolves disputes arising under them. Courts are important because they help protect the citizens’ constitutional rights. Courts set the foundation of democracy and create a climate for its growth. The Supreme Court sits on the top of the entire judicial system and hence is revered as a great institution. Its independence ensures justice, guarantees liberty, enhances social order and maintains the rule of law, thereby providing equal protection to all the citizens. When this great institution suffers, the entire nation and its citizenry suffer. Hence it’s the state’s duty to keep the judiciary free and equip it with all the resources. While the state must pay heed to the SC’s call to empower it, the judiciary also needs to do its bit to keep itself free from interference and rid itself of irregularities, if there are any. Problems facing the judiciary must be resolved to ensure that the wheels of justice continue to roll.

Assist the victims

Reconstruction process in some hilly districts has not gained momentum at desired level even if it has been more than three years since the 2015 earthquake. A report from Bhojpur says only 108 earthquake victim families have received the third tranche of grant provided by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). As per the NRA record, there are as many as 5,749 quake victims in the district. Of them 5,065 families have received the first instalment and 2,236 beneficiaries have taken the second one.

Locals said they were denied the third tranche after district-based NRA officials refused to approve the houses they rebuilt saying they did not meet the criteria set by the NRA. This problem would not have arisen had the concerned authorities monitored
the rebuilding process from the very beginning. The NRA officials cannot deny the third tranche to the victims even if they did not meet the criteria as the NRA has already disbursed the first and second tranches to them without giving them guidelines about rebuilding houses. Instead of creating unnecessary problems NRA filed office should help ease the rebuilding process.

A version of this article appears in print on December 14, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Timo Werner

Leipzig move into third spot with 4-2 win at Cologne

BERLIN: RB Leipzig reclaimed third place in the Bundesliga with an entertaining 4-2 victory at Cologne on Monday that put them firmly on course for a Champions League spot with five games left in the season. Leipzig's second win in their last six league games put them two points ahead of Bo Read More...

Yubaraj Khatiwada

Idea came from private schools: Khatiwada 

Education Minister Pokharel says he had no clue about it  Kathmandu, June 1 Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada today said the proposal to make each private school responsible for improving education quality of at least one public school was brought in consensus with the private school owners. Read More...

Nepal's Constitution

JSP-Nepal registers private constitution amendment bill 

Kathmandu, June 1  Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal today registered a private constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat seeking to change several provisions of the constitution to address the demands of Madhesis, Janajatis and other marginalised groups and communities. The J Read More...

Plan to evacuate Nepalis from abroad unveiled

KATHMANDU, JUNE 1 The government has released an 11-point action plan to bring back and manage citizens who have been affected by COV- ID-19 and want to return home. Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel, who is also coordinator of the High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and C Read More...

Quarantined people’s swabs collected after minor’s death 

Bajura, June 1  The swab samples of people kept in the quarantine facility at Dhuralsain Secondary School were collected after the death of a two-year-old child in Budhiganga Municipality, Bajura. Municipality Mayor Dipak Bikram Sha said the child, who was infected with COV- ID-19, died Read More...

Tourist standard hotels agree to government rate for quarantine

KATHMANDU, JUNE 1 Tourist standard member hotels of the Hotel Association Nepal are ready to provide quarantine service at Rs 2,000 per night with four meals a day. Disclosing member hotels’ decision today, Binayak Shah, first vice-president of HAN, said, “Our proposal was to charge Rs 3,0 Read More...

Ten new Covid-19 cases detected in Gandaki province, five each in Parbat and Syangja

POKHARA: As many as 10 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Gandaki Province on Tuesday morning, taking the provincial tally to 37. According to Gandaki Health Directorate, Parbat reported its first five confirmed cases while the other five hailed from Syangja. Among the infecte Read More...

12 migrants returning from India killed in accident

NEPALGUNJ, JUNE 1 Twelve persons were killed and 21 were injured when a vehicle carrying migrant workers returning from India met with an accident in Thuriya forest of Banke’s Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality last night. According to District Police Office, the accident occurred when a bus ca Read More...