Corruption is one of the main obstacles to peace, stability, sustainable development and democracy. Moreover, judicial corruption appears to be a global problem. Yet symptoms of corruption seem to be worse in developing countries and countries in transition. An independent, trustworthy and effective judicial system is an essential pillar of a democratic state. The judicial system is a guarantor of property rights and a mechanism of dispute resolution, and is crucial to the achievement of good corporate governance in the private sector as well.
Corruption in the judiciary has the potential to do far more damage to society than corruption elsewhere. An independent, impartial, judiciary is often cited as a fundamental institution supporting civil society and a well-functioning market economy. When judicial decisions become suspect due to corruption, businesses reduce productive activities, particularly those with greater potential for disputes, such as long-term investment contracts, and investors will not consider a country where there is no guaranteed standard for judicial procedure or reliable process. To attract investors, a country must at least offer some degree of fairness and judicial certainty within a reasonable timeframe. Nepali judiciary takes on an average five years or more to provide a final decision on civil cases or commercial conflicts. When the resolution of conflicts takes so many years, business ventures become less profitable and risky.
The Constitution of Nepal 1990 visualised an independent and competent judicial system. And judiciary has been given the authority to protect the supremacy of the Constitution and freedom of the people. There is a need to increase the efficiency of the judges to improve the delivery of justice. If this is ignored, judiciary may not be able to perform its constitutional responsibility. Judiciary in our country is the only institution that is virtually not accountable and at the same time enjoys exceptional constitutional protection and formidable weaponry such as contempt of court to silence the critics. And the Constitution ensures total protection to a judge of the Supreme Court since he or she can only be removed by impeachment under Article 87(7) by two-thirds majority of the total number of the parliament and when the King approves the resolution.
The reality is that a nexus has developed between the corrupt members of the judiciary, the government and the influential sections of the society. In order to design policies in the fight against corruption, it is necessary to build a data base with quantitative and qualitative information related to all the factors thought to be related to certain types of corrupt behaviour (embezzlement, bribery, extortion, fraud, etc.). The judiciary is a public institution mandated to provide essential checks on other public institutions. A fair and efficient judiciary is the key to anti-corruption initiatives. It is necessary that the quality of judiciary in the country should be substantially improved. Obviously, this means that the selection process and promotion process for the judges should be made more transparent, stringent and based on well-established parameters. Though it seems that judiciary corruption is not likely to be fully eliminated, the objective should be to minimise it as much as possible.