THT 10 years ago: King to lose power to appoint judges

Kathmandu, July 5, 2006

The Judicial Council led by Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and its member judges today agreed on taking away from the King his power to appoint judges.

“The Chief Justice and the Judicial Council members have agreed to have the judges appointed by the CJ after the JC’s recommendation. The recommendation would, however, not be forwarded to the King for approval,” Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Narendra Bikram Nemwang, told this daily.

“I have forwarded a proposal that will allow the CJ to appoint judges without forwarding their issue to the King,” Nemwang, also an ex-officio member of the JC, added.

Though the House declaration curtailed the King’s legislative and executive powers, it was silent on the King’s authority over the judiciary. The Constitution of 1990 allows the King to appoint judges and pardon a criminal.

“His Majesty shall, on the recommendation of the Judicial Council, appoint any Chief Judge and Judges of the Appellate Courts and any judge of the District Courts,” Article 91 of the Constitution states.

Shelters: Raw deal for kids, fine biz for some

As many as 15 shelter homes in Kathmandu, opened to provide shelter to destitute and conflict affected children, are not meeting the minimum standards set for them by a government body called the Central Child Welfare Committee (CCWC), the national focal agency of the government on children’s issues.

So much so that children living in these homes need to be rescued. Gyan Bahadur Lama, secretary of the District Child Welfare Committee.

(DCWC), Kathmandu chapter, has drawn this conclusion after monitoring the children’s shelters in Kathmandu. There has been a mushroom growth of such shelters, dependent on foreign donors.

Of the 615 shelter homes registered with the District Administration Office Kathmandu, over 100 need to improve the services they provide. They have also failed to meet the government’s code of conduct to run the shelters, according to DCWC.

The CCWC has a 16-point criteria for the smooth running of these shelters. In the last three months alone, DCWC rescued 128 children from five shelters. In June, in a shelter in Swoyambhu, eight children were spotted left to fend for themselves; nobody running the shelter was spotted when a DCWC squad visited it.

The children were sent to Sunrise Home Nepal at Jorpati. Inexplicably, the shelter’s name, registration and the name of the persons who ran it are still unknown. Again last month, 24 malnourished children were rescued from Garib and Bipanna Sewa Kendra, Thankot.

They are now living at The Talboat Street Child Centre. Some children rescued from these shelters have been handed over to their guardians.