Supreme Court panel reports rampant corruption in judiciary that begins with justice selection

File: Justice Hari Krishna Karki
File: Justice Hari Krishna Karki

Kathmandu, July 30

A team commissioned by Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana has reported that corruption and irregularities are rampant in the country’s judiciary. Further, it claims corruption begins with the selection and appointment of justices and judges at courts.

The team led by Supreme Court Justice Hari Krishna Karki submitted its report to CJ Rana on Thursday.

Nepal Bar Association President Chandeshwar Shrestha, a member of the team, says the team has suggested the judicial leadership can make reforms if it is willing enough to do so.

The around-250-page report has identified the existing justice appointment process as the most significant factor behind corruption in the judiciary. “The Judicial Council is responsible for recommending names of justices and judges, but the council picks the names as it pleases without basing it on any legally defined criteria. Hence, the justice appointment gets controversial most of the time,” a member of the team quotes the report.

‘Some justices can be acting as brokers’

Further, the report claims middlemen and brokers are found influencing other administrative affairs at courts such as the transfer of judges. “They are also found to be working to establish regular communications between justices and parties fighting for or against any case.”

The report claims some of the justices and advocates are also working as middlemen and hence the court administration should minutely scrutinise them.

As there are rumours that some relatives of the justices are also involved in trading court cases, the issue should be investigated, the report recommends.

‘Chief justice’s role in the Constitutional Council should be studied’

Meanwhile, the committee suggests the chief justice’s involvement as a member of the Constitutional Council should be further studied as it has been controversial of late.

Currently, Chief Justice Rana is facing a charge that he is delaying the hearing of the petitions against the recommendations made by the council during KP Sharma Oli’s premiership.

Because all other members of the council are politicians, its decisions are apparently political, hence, they could drag the chief justice to controversy, the team observes.

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Gyawali is a senior journalist at Onlinekhabar.

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