Tuesday, January 03, 2006

SC condemns NBA criticisms

Kathmandu, Jan 3 - The Supreme Court today expressed serious concern over yesterday’s statement of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA), which demanded the resignation of the Chief Justice, Dilip Kumar Paudel, and newly appointed ad hoc judge Pawan Kumar Ojha, stating that they were incompetent to maintain the independence of the judiciary.

An emergency full court meeting of all the apex court justices condemned the NBA decision and reiterated that the Supreme Court ‘is committed to protect the rights of the people under the 1990 Constitution’. “The meeting seriously expressed concern over yesterday’s NBA decision,” said a press release issued by Acting Registrar and Spokesperson of the apex court, Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena.

In a statement issued this evening, the SC said its attention was seriously drawn by the statement issued by the NBA in connection with the recent appointment of four ad-hoc justices at the court.

Expressing serious objection over the recent appointment of four ad-hoc justices at the SC, the NBA on Monday had said CJ Poudel and one of the appointees, Ojha, should not remain in their posts.

Saying that the honourable Chief Justice had been unable to protect the rights of the Nepali people under the Constitution of Nepal 1990, the NBA also decided to exclude CJ Poudel and Justice Ojha from all its functions henceforth.

The emergency meeting of the full court of the SC today condemned the statement saying the NBA, an institution established as an aide to judiciary, through its objectionable words, had undermined the personality and responsibility of the Chief Justice.

"The meeting is seriously concerned over the baseless accusations made against the spirit of independent judiciary, against the justices appointed (recently) inline with the Constitution," the apex court said in its statement.

Ojha, as attorney general, had staunchly defended the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control and argued that the actions of the monarch are outside the court's jurisdiction.

The NBA has vowed to protest non-transparent appointments based on a "secret nexus" in the future as well. It has also asked all its units to enforce its decision and called for a nationwide protest meeting on Friday.

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