Thursday, March 02, 2006

People Can Change the System: SC Justice

Kathmandu, March 2-Supreme Court Justice Anup Raj Sharma on Wednesday said people have the right to decide anything and if they want they can change the current Constitution while inaugurating the 10th national conference of lawyers in the capital.

"How to bring an inclusive democracy should be decided by the people. No one who believes in people's sovereignty, has the right to question the people's right to decide," Sharma said.

“People have authority to change the document if they want,” said Sharma. He also said that people have the right to decide what kind of political system they want. “If they want inclusive democracy, they can demand,” he added. Sharma was speaking at the inaugural session of a four-day Golden Jubilee conference of the Nepal Bar Association this afternoon.

The NBA invited Sharma, one of the judges of the five-member special bench that recently scrapped the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC).

Sharma, however, said the present conflict facing by the country can be resolved only by the political ways but professional organisations like NBA can play a vital role to resolve the crisis.

Former speaker of the House of Representatives Daman Nath Dhungana, former Law Minister Subash Nembang, former SC justice Laxman Prasad Aryal and NBA president Shambhu Thapa asked the King to immediately dissolve the present government to respond the Supreme Court verdict on RCCC dissolution case.

"The king must accept the verdict, which is the first duty of the king. He must quit the post of chairman as per the verdict," former Supreme Court Justice and a member of the present constitution drafting committee, Laxman Prasad Aryal said.

Senior advocate Basu Dev Dhungana said, "If the verdict were to be ignored, there would be no solution to the problems [facing the country]. King should open the way for the people to exercise their sovereignty."

NBA President Shambhu Thapa urged the king and former army generals who are believed to be advisors of the king, not to interpret the constitution as they like it. "Constitution should not be interpreted by the king; the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of the constitution."
Addressing conference, Commissioner of International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) Dato' Param Cumaraswamy questioned the investigation into the Dorambha killings and murder of Maina Sunuwar under custody of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA).

"ICJ is concerned about inadequate investigations into human rights violation by security forces and inadequate punishments for those found responsible," Cumaraswamy said, adding, "Security forces accused of human rights violations should be tried in civilian courts."

More than 3000 lawyers are participating in the four-day conference. Meanwhile, the NBA decided to award journalist Balkrishna Basnet for his contribution to court and legal reporting.

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