Monday, October 08, 2007

CJ to review CIAA jurisdiction

Newly appointed Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri announced that he would review the structure of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority and the Special Court, as questions have been raised about their decisions.Prime Mister Girija Prasad Koirala, as the acting head of state, administered the oath of office to CJ at the state hall in Singhadurbar. In the ceremony, photo journalists were allowed but not the journalists.Giri, meanwhile, has issued seven-point working plan to make justice system effective. Talking to mediapersons in his chamber after taking charge as the CJ, he said he would play a neutral role while providing justice.“I don’t care what happened during the parliamentary hearing where the lawmakers performed their duty as per the Constitution,” Giri said. His appointment as CJ was delayed by 29 days, as the parliamentary hearing special committee was divided on his appointment.When asked whether he would take up politically sensitive cases, as he was perceived as Nepali Congress-backed CJ, he said: “I’ll work impartially, as we judges do not care what happened in the past.” Claiming that he has become the first CJ of Loktantrik Nepal, Giri, however, thanked PM Koirala, Constitutional Council and all those involved in the appointment process.During the September 11 parliamentary hearing, lawmakers of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist had opposed his appointment.“I am thinking of reviewing the jurisdiction of the CIAA and the Special Court,”Giri said. He said he would adopt panel system to decide cases through special judges. He said cases of national importance would get priority.He added that he would review and evaluate the judiciary’s strategic plan.To make easy access to justice, the Chief Justice would issue and implement citizens’ charter and give priority to mediation and reconciliation while settling disputes. He would also work to remove legal hurdles in procedural acts and see to it that court verdicts were implemented. The CJ added that he would work to amend existing acts to ensure women, Dalits and disabled have easy access to justice.Giri said he would work to make the Judicial Council and Judicial Service Commission more effective and transparent. He added that he would work on setting up juvenile benches and commercial benches and draft codes of different laws.

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