Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chief Justice stresses judiciary's independence

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel has said that judiciary will not agree to any decision or agreement that will cause the judiciary to lose its judicial identity and independence, as the Court's responsibility is to keep intact the norms and values of independent judiciary and optimum practices of judicial freedom.
"Nepalese judiciary will never accept to any game that is meant for causing or losing the established original and independent identity," Paudel said, expressing his commitment towards independent judiciary. He said that this was of utmost importance and relevant in the present Nepalese context.The Supreme Court might quash the provisions made by the Legislature that contravene with the Constitution of the land, Paudel said.
Paudel made these remarks speaking at closing ceremony 'Basic Training to Newly Appointed District Judges', organised by National Judicial Council Friday. There were 47 district judges who participated in the two-week training.Paudel said, citing opinions of American experts: Kenneth Janda, Jaffery M. Berry and Jerry Goldman in their book 'Challenge of Democracy', which reads: "The Supreme Court of India offers an extreme example of judicial review.
In 1967, the Court held that the parliament could change the fundamental rights sections of the constitution, even by constitutional amendment! The parliament then amended the constitution to secure its power to amend the constitution. The Supreme Court upheld the amendment but declared that any amendments that attack the "basic structure" of the constitution would be invalid.
In India, the Supreme Court is truly supreme."Paudel said while there are subjudice cases in the SC against the Proclamation of the House of Representatives-2063."Our court, as per the democratic practices in other judiciaries around the world, has declared several laws as null and void under judicial review," Paudel said."I would not be balk to follow international principles and practices to keep intact independent judiciary," he expressed commitment as Chief Justice.Paudel also cited British CJ Coke's saying (1803) in the case of Bonham and the citation reads: "The Court can examine and quash laws made by the parliament which are against the theories of natural justice and common law under the provision of judicial review."
Similarly, CJ Paudel cited another precedence made by American Judge Marshall in the case Marbury versus Madison that reads: "Court can declare null and void the laws made by the executive and legislature, if they are against the norms and values of the constitutional standard."
Other speakers at the programme included executive director of the academy Top Bahadur Singh and SC's registrar Dr. Ram Krishna Timilsina.

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