Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Deny NBA statement Judges Appointed

Kathmandu, Dec 27-The Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel today appointed four ad hoc justices of the Supreme Court, according to acting registrar of the SC Ram Krishna Timilsena.

Among those appointed as the SC ad hoc justices are Tahir Ali Ansari and Rajendra Prasad Koirala from among the appellate court judges and Bipulendra Chakraworti and Professor Pawan Kumar Ojha from among the senior advocates.

The Chief Justice appointed them in the posts on recommendation of the Judicial Council and the approval of the King.

Yesterday Nepal Bar Association (NBA), the umbrella organization of the lawyers, has said the appointment of those who have been supporting publicly the February 1 move and “unconstitutional” activities of the present regime in the Supreme Court will be unacceptable. Making its protest public, the NBA in a statement issued today said that appointments of pro-palace people as lawyers would be unacceptable to it. NBA also warned that the Judicial Council will be responsible for any consequences if the latter ignores its concerns over the appointment of judges.

Ojha, as the Attorney General, defended king’s “unconstitutional” decisions, including the constitution of the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control. Senior Advocate Chakrabarti is the close relative of king-nominated regional administrator, Rabindra Chakrabarti. The government has already appointed Senior Advocate Laxmi Bahadur Nirala as Ojha’s successor. Nirala was the chief of the civic committee formed to felicitate King Gyanendr in Janakpur last year.

Judge Koirala’s decision, as an appellate court judge, on a Gold Quest Scandal was later on reversed by the supreme court. He had acquitted the main accused Filipino national, who immediately fled the county.

“The appointment of persons, who are against the supremacy of the constitution and who have been publicly supporting the government’s activities and decisions that have curtailed the fundamental rights of the people, that have narrowed down the jurisdiction of the independent judiciary and the constitutional bodies, as judges is unacceptable to NBA,” a statement undersigned by NBA General Secretary Madhav Basnet said. He added: “Such persons cannot defend the supremacy of the constitution and defend the dignity of an independent judiciary.”

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