Judiciary up for restructuring

BY KIRAN CHAPAGAIN

 

KATHMANDU, Dec 7 – The judiciary has geared up for restructuring, keeping in mind the federal system of governance that is likely to be adopted after elections to the constituent assembly.A high-level committee headed by Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri formed a committee Thursday to suggest modalities for the judiciary under a federal system. The 11-member committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Anup Raj Sharma has been assigned to study the structure, model and jurisdiction of the judiciary under federalism, according to Hemanta Rawal, joint-spokesperson of the Supreme Court (SC).

The committee comprises judges, senior bureaucrats, lawyers and academicians. They include SC Justice Kalyan Shrestha, Attorney General Yagya Murti Banjade, Judge Keshari Raj Pandit, Law Secretary Dr Kul Ratna Bhurtel, and SC Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena. Similarly, the other members are Prof. Dr. Kanak Mani Thapa, advocate Purna Man Shakya and representatives from Nepal Bar Association and the Supreme Court Bar Association. Judicial Council Secretary Prakash Kumar Dhungana has been designated member-secretary of the committee.

The committee was constituted informally in July but was awaiting the approval of the Chief Justice.

“The committee has been formed as per the spirit of the Interim Constitution regarding state restructuring,” Rawal said.

The Interim Constitution has clearly stated in its preamble that the state shall be restructured to address problems related to class, race, region and gender, while adopting federalism.

In the meantime, Justice Sharma, talking to the Post, said that the committee would begin its work immediately after its members are given the letter setting out their mandate. Justice Sharma further said that the committee would study the constitutions and judiciaries of countries with federal set-ups, namely the United States and Germany. “Besides, we will visit those countries to study their judiciaries. We will also hold discussions with civil society and political scientists.”

The committee will give such suggestions for restructuring the judiciary that it would fit into any type of federalism, be it based on geography, caste or language, Justice Sharma added.

Established in 1956, Nepal’s judiciary currently has three layers of courts — district court (trial courts), appeallate court and Supreme Court. The set-up has remained unchanged to date.

Govt committee prepares ToR for state restructuringThe government has initiated necessary preparation to execute its commitment to restructure the future state.

A high-level committee, formed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) some seven days ago, has prepared a preliminary draft of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the to-be-formed State Restructure Commission.

Madhav Poudel, secretary at PMO, who is a member of the three-member committee, said the committee would complete its final draft by next week.

“The ToR for the State Restructure Commission is based on the current interim constitution, which has provided

for equal representation on the basis of gender, region, caste, language, culture and others,” Poudel said.

The committee has stressed national harmony and integrity as major bases for the federal structure of the state.

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