Saturday, December 10, 2005

Need to evaluate the government's role: SC judge

Kathmandu, December 10-Senior Justice at the Supreme Court, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, on friday pointed out the need to evaluate the government’s role in protecting human rights in the country. “Only a serious evaluation will reveal the extent to which the government and its machinery are committed on human rights,” he said. Rayamajhi also added that unless the government and rights bodies worked together in protecting the rights of the people, the government’s role as a signatory to various rights accords would remain doubtful. Rayamajhi said that the constitutional and legal provisions would only be ornaments in showcase if they are not enforced properly to protect the rights of the people.He was speaking on human rights situation in the country at a meet organised by the Human Rights and People’s Concern Committee of Nepal Bar Association to mark international human rights day tomorrow. The sitting justice said that the SC was committed to protecting the rights of the people the main responsibility entrusted upon the apex court by the 1990 Constitution. “The goal of the Constitution cannot be achieved unless all the state machinery are committed to protect constitutionalism, the rule of law and peoples’ rights,” he added.“The Article 88 of the Constitution gives SC every power to protect the rights of the people.”

Rayamajhi, an ex-officio member of the Judicial Council, urged the government, the civil society and all the concerned parties to show their commitments towards the protection of the rights of the people.

He said it is human nature to oppose suppression and injustice. “The promotion and protection of peace in the country should be our main goal,” Rayamajhi said. He observed that the preamble of the 1990 Constitution has rested the responsibility to protect basic rights of the people on the state. Thus the government needs to launch special policies to protect peoples’ rights with the help of the provisions in the Constitution. Ian Martin, chief of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kathmandu, said the judges and the lawyers of the country have the special responsibility to safeguard the rights of the people.

He also appreciated the roles of the judges and the lawyers in helping the judiciary remain an independent institution at such difficult times.Martin said only independent judiciary can protect the rights of the people. Martin said the OHCHR was chiefly concerned with maintaining the rule of law and ending impunity in the country. National Human Rights Commission’s Sushila Singh Silu informed that the NHRC had recently recommended the government to amend all Acts to make them compatible with international law. “We have recommended the government and the Maoists to stop rights violation,” she added. Senior advocate Bishwo Kanta Mainali and advocate Sher Bahadur KC meanwhile accused the government of seriously violating people’s rights.

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