Thursday, November 29, 2007

JC Draws Flak for Hiding Info About Judges' Names

Lawyers on Wednesday called the Judicial Council (JC) to make public its recent decision that gave clean chit to 85 district and appellate court judges, following an inquiry into the complaints against them."The JC must make public the names of the judges who got the clean chit," vice-president of the Nepal Bar Association Hari Prasad Uprety said. "It cannot ignore its public accountability and its decisions can't be above the public's right to information."On last Thursday, the JC had decided to give clean chit to 85 judges and decided to investigate into the complaints against 22 more district and appellate court judges."The people have the right to know and comment on JC's decision under the Right to Information Act 2007," Uprety said, adding, "It will not only boost the morale of the judges who got the clean chit but also improve the image of the judiciary as a whole."Advocate Lav Mainali said the JC has no privilege to hide information once the inquiry is finished. "Since the Right to Information Act 2007 has already come into force, the JC cannot ignore it," he added. "I don't see any harm in making the names of the judges public. It will help only boost the judiciary's morale and to discourage people from filing unsubstantiated complaints against the judges," he added.Chairman of the Constitutional Lawyers' Forum Kumar Regmi said: "The JC works under the interim constitution and the Judicial Council Act, 1990, which do not sanction any privilege to it to hide its decisions.""The decisions of the JC on judges are matters of public importance and public should have access to these decisions," Regmi said, adding, hiding the information will only tarnish the judiciary's image and slide people's confidence on judges.

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