Wednesday, December 26, 2007

SC orders secrecy in PLWHA related cases
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to enact laws that ensure secrecy in the judicial process for cases involving people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) or sensitive issues of women and children.
The apex court also said it would formulate a set of guidelines for courts and the government outlining how such cases should be dealt with in court until necessary new laws are enacted. The guidelines would be effective from January 24, 2008, the court ruled. The apex court, however, did not give details of the guidelines.
Under existing law some sensitive cases concerning women and children are heard in camera but the whole judicial process is not kept secret. But today's order requires courts and the government to maintain secrecy throughout the judicial process from the time of filing of cases till after the verdicts are handed down.
Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Kalyan Shrestha issued the order in response to public interest litigation brought by the Forum for Women, Law and Development, a women's rights NGO.

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