Sunday, January 08, 2006

Let somebody Teach me politics: NBA president Sambhu thapa

Kathmandu Jan 8- The Supreme Court (SC) and the Nepal Bar Association (NBA), an umbrella organisation of professional lawyers across the country, are once again at coldwar following the recent "controversial" appointments of four ad-hoc justices at the apex court. The NBA has announced to boycott Chief Justice (CJ) Dilip Kumar Poudel and one of the newly appointed justices Pawan Kumar Ojha in all its programmes. The court has already regretted the NBA decision. In exclusive Interviev with ekantipur, President of Nepal bar Association Sambhu thapa told that a person who is appointed to the post of Attorney General of the country by the King and who actively defends the February 1 move which forcefully seized the rights of all professional organisations, the press, Nepalese people and the political parties and jailed many, should not be appointed Supreme Court justice. If this happens, the constitution and the rule of law, cannot be protected. And it is this very attitude that the NBA is against, not against any particular person.

Inlighting to the current protest programme ,President thapa said "Before this recent appointment of four justices, five justices were appointed at the Supreme Court sometime back for which we had recommended some names from our side. But no one was taken from our list. We, too, did not question the appointments because all the five justices appointed were appropriate and competent. Then a delegation from the NBA met the Chief Justice and drew his attention to the fact that nobody was appointed from the NBA list. CJ told us that the appointments had to be made immediately and that next appointments to be made at the Supreme Court would be from the NBA list. Then CJ said that, before making new appointments at the Supreme Court, he would first appoint the main judge and other judges at the Appellate Court and asked us to recommend names for the same. We agreed. But, in the mean time, appointments were made at the Supreme Court before the Appellate Court against the assurances given to us. And look who they brought in? We have made it clear on various occasions right from the current CJ's appointment; in the welcome programme of the Supreme Court, in the function organised by the Judicial Council, on the occasion of (NBA's) Golden Jubilee, in a personal meeting with him before the Golden Jubilee and so on, that no one openly supporting the Feb 1 royal move should be appointed justice at the SC." .And President Thapa add futher "We don't claim that the people we recommended are ideal and faultless; some of them may have flaws. But we did make recommendations and he did assure us that appointments would be made from the names we had recommended. But what happened in the end? If one agrees to the CJ's statement that the Bar cannot question the appointments of judges at the court, then is the Bar an organisation that should watch like a mute spectator any appointment at the apex court? Meaning that it supports whoever is appointed? No, not at all. What will the people think if this happens?"

In a question What is next step of bar , President thapa told " We have already announced our programmes. We will settle this issue during our forthcoming national conference on Jan 30-Feb 2. We will accept whatever conclusion the conference will reach; if the conference says we are wrong we will correct ourselves and if it says we are right then we will move accordingly."

In the end, President Thapa said The constitution has two parts: One is political and the other is constitutional or legal. First of all, one should know the constitution. I really don't understand what politics is. I am waiting for somebody to tell me that this is politics and this is not. I have not got the opportunity to ask those gentlemen who level this allegation against the NBA what involves politics and what does not.It depends upon people like you and me. If we become inactive and do nothing, the situation will worsen and a greater challenge will confront us. But if we are alert and active, we can face any challenge. We should strongly raise our voice against any wrongdoing. The Chief Justice will be answerable if anything goes wrong in the judiciary. He is the head of heads. He is the guardian of the guardians. He is the protector of the protectors. Nobody should say that I have the right to do this or that thing and no one can question my right. People are questioning the King's rights; can't they do the same with the Chief Justice?

No comments: