Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Judiciary proposes own security
Amidst growing insecurity in courts across the country in recent days, the judiciary has proposed to the government that it have its own security, including marshals, so that it can arrange its security itself.
According to a proposal submitted to the Finance Ministry recently by the Supreme Court for approval, the judiciary plans to have 639 security personnel. The security strength will comprise of 265 court marshals and 374 general security personnel.
If approved, this will be the first time the judiciary is going to have its own security in its history. At present, the government is providing security only to the Supreme Court and the 16 appellate courts while there is no security arrangement for 75 district courts.
The judiciary has floated the security plan to the government at a time when insecurity among judges, lawyers and courts has become a matter of concern. The plan is being considered in the Finance Ministry.
Til Prasad Shrestha, spokesperson of the Supreme Court, said Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat "agreed to the plan in principle" at a recent meeting with Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri, judges and high-ranking officials of the apex court.
According to Shrestha, the court marshals, first of their kind in Nepal's judiciary, though they are common in judiciaries in other countries, will be responsible for internal security and maintenance of decorum during court sessions. Similarly, general security personnel will provide outer security ring to the courts.
The state coffers will have to bear an estimated 56.14 million rupees for the proposed security plan of the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court administration also wants to set up an electronic gate at its entrance, Shrestha said.
Judicial administration to be revamped
In the meantime, the judiciary has also proposed a revamp of its bureaucracy in a bid to usher reform in the institution. The bureaucracy will be made top-heavy instead of the present-bottom heavy so that it will be effective in dispensing prompt justice to people.
According to the plan, altogether 570 junior posts will be scrapped while 206 officer-level posts will be added.
With the new posts proposed in civil and security service in the judiciary, the judiciary's human resources will be 5,272 against the present strength of 4,423.
The plan proposes to create a new post of registrar general to lead the judicial bureaucracy, while one more post of registrar will be added. At present the registrar is the head of judicial bureaucracy.
"The judiciary in many countries has the post of registrar general. Besides, the post is needed due to growing work load. The executive has chief secretary while the legislature has secretary general. So the judiciary needs a registrar general so as to be at par with the executive and the legislature," Shrestha told the Post.
The plan further proposed creation of five new posts of joint registrars, 38 deputy registrars and 90 section officers so as to make the judicial bureaucracy officer-oriented. The cost of to-be-added in terms of human resources is estimated to be Rs 18.88 million rupees.
"We are holding discussions with officials at the Finance Ministry regarding the financial aspects of our plan," said Shrestha.
Commercial bench with 12 judges to be set up
In a separate proposal to the government, the Supreme Court has asked the government to create 12 new posts of judge to set up commercial benches at six different appellate courts. The government has already decided to establish commercial benches but the decision is yet to materialize. Such benches will specialize in cases relating to trade and commerce.


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