Friday, January 06, 2006

Bar Protests against Judges' Appointment

Kathmandu Jan 6-The Nepal Bar Association staged a protest assembly at its building premises on Friday protesting against the “unconstitutional appointment” of judges inclined towards the February 1 royal move in the Supreme Court.

Addressing a protest programme on Friday organized by NBA valley unit, President of NBA, Shambu Thapa, said the recent appointment of the ad-hoc Justices of the Supreme Court gave the message that it could not protect the independence of the judiciary as per the spirit of the 1990 constitution.Thapa accused Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel of ignoring the list of five names recommended by the Bar for their induction as the apex court judges. “We had sent the list of five names on December 27 but the chief justice denied of receiving any of such list,” Thapa said. Thapa claimed that it was a planned move, saying the chief justice made the appointments at the instruction of a minister. He, however, didn’t mention the name of the minister.

Thapa said though the importance of judiciary has increased in the present time, recent appointment failed to assure lawyers of the independence of judiciary.

The Bar president claimed that the umbrella organisation of law practitioners was committed for the protection of the Constitution and independence of the judiciary. Thapa termed the ‘free group of law practitioners,’ who stood in favour of the appointments, a “sold group” and urged them to return home, saying, “The Bar is the home to all law practitioners.”

“The fight is not against some individual, but the tendency of appointing justices,” he said, adding, “The present appointment will not protect the independence of the Judiciary.”
Speaking at the same programme, senior advocates Krishna Prashad Bhandari also rapped the recent appointment.

Senior Advocate Sindhu Nath Pyakurel said the protest of the Bar was not against any individual but aimed at protection of the Constitution, rule of law, and independence of the judiciary. “We are only stressing on the need for a system in such appointments,” Pyakurel said, adding that only the people will a good understanding of law should become a justice. He claimed that the recent appointment of judges at the SC has devalued the judiciary, adding, “The Bar cannot remain silent on such ‘unconstitutional’ moves.”

Representatives of various Bar units addressed the assembly. The Bar source said that protests are being held throughout the nation against the controversial appointments of judges, which has resulted in distance between the Bar and Bench. The Bar has repeatedly expressed apprehension for the past few months that the appex court may not be able to uphold the Constitution.

most of the lawyers criticized the Chief Justice for attending the inaugural session of the central regional conference of the Rajparishad.

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel, with the consent of King Gyanendra, appointed Ojha, Tahir Ali Ansari, Rajendra Prasad Koirala and Bipulendra Chakravarti as Justices of the SC

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