Friday, January 05, 2007

Justices to ask PM to amend interim statute

Supreme Court justices have stated some provisions in the proposed interim constitution interferes with the independence of the Judiciary.

During the full court meeting of the Supreme Court justices held on Friday, they resolved that granting prime minister authority for appointing chief justice and justices is against the spirit of an independent judiciary.

Legal experts have raised questions over the provision in the interim constitution that has given power to prime minister for appointing chief justice and justices.

The meeting has decided to ask the office of the prime minister to amend the provisions related to the Judiciary. The justices have also raised questions regarding the structure of the judicial council and judicial service commission where the law minister, who is a member in both the agencies, has been bestowed a higher portfolio than a Supreme Court justice.

Article 103 of the proposed constitution states that prime minister would appoint chief justice on the recommendation of constitutional council.

The other disagreeing point raised by the justices is the provision in Article 106, which says justices or chief justice can be assigned to judicial investigation works after consulting the judicial council and Article 117 that empowers the parliament to discuss the annual report of the court.

However, a few days ago, acting chief justice Kedar Prasad Giri had stated there is no alternative to empowering PM for appointment of justices in transitional period despite. Meanwhile, PM Girija Prasad Koirala has expressed his dissatisfaction regarding the powers given to prime minister in this matter.

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