Conspiracy Against Interim Constitution?

Another Janandolan if Interim Statute delayed, warns Prachanda:

Maoist Chairman Prachanda has warned the government of another “Janandolan” if the Interim Constitution is not issued by the end of this Nepali month (January 14). He, who made the comment while talking to journalists in Dolakha on Jan 5 said that the government and the Maoists had already reached an agreement to issue the Interim Statute by Jan 9. He also claimed that the Nepali people “would rise in rebellion” at their (Maoist) call if a situation is created where the constituent assembly elections cannot take place. “What I think is- let’s not say by January 9- but if the interim constitution is not issued, interim legislature not formed, by the end of this (Nepali) month (Jan 14), then we won’t be left with any other alternative; we will go for protests,” Prachanda said. (source)

By Prakash Bom in New York

Prime Minister and Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala who played major role in the ongoing peace process- before and after the peoples’ movement II- is shifting his gear with the regressive force. Koirala, his party and Seven Party Alliance must not forget less than a year old historic event that has reinstated the dissolved Parliament; that has united people to proclaim nation’s sovereignty; and that has demanded the establishment of complete democracy in Nepal.

It is shame on Koirala who has failed to take the responsibility promulgating Interim Constitution on which every provision he has already signed and committed. He should have kept in his mind that the interim constitution is not end but means to achieve the final goal (elections of the constituent assembly for drafting a new constitution). Therefore the provision to appoint justices of the Supreme Court by the PM with the recommendation of the constitutional counsel would not undermine the independence of the judiciary. We must not forget that current judges are not appointed through the electoral process of the Parliament.

The conclusion made by the Supreme Court Justices on this provision of the Interim Constitution for the necessary amendment has failed to lay the alternative provision. (see the box item below) As legal experts of the nation if they can only pinpoint the flaw but do not have any democratic suggestion for the amendment then it only reflects their intention tainted with the regressive conspiracy.

Supreme Court Justices of Nepal have been appointed arbitrarily with the grace of the monarchy and they have nothing to offer than to stick with the status quo. What is their intention in speaking against this provision of the Interim Constitution? Obviously they do not want to be appointed by the representatives of the people but by their gracious and arbitrary feudal oligarchic monarchy.

It is clear to any rational individual who understands electoral or competitive democratic process that the judiciary of which justices is appointed without Parliamentary hearing cannot reasonably seek independence of their judiciary.

The provision for the appointments of the justices of the Supreme Court of Nepal in Interim Constitution should be the popular democratic procedures that implement three electoral steps.

1. The Prime Minister or the Constitutional Counsel nominates the candidates for the Parliamentary hearing and voting procedures.

2. The Parliamentary processes the hearing and voting procedures for the candidates and recommends the candidates for the appointment.

3. Then the Prime Minister or the Constitutional Counsel appoints the candidates as Supreme Court Justices.

All constitutional and diplomatic appointments of the government must not escape the approval of the representatives of the people of Nepal.

SC justices concerned over judicial independence:

The Supreme Court (SC) Justices on Friday (6 Jan) concluded that the provision pertaining to the judiciary in the Interim Constitution was in contradiction with the notion of independent judiciary. A Full Court of SC Justices today agreed that some provisions regarding the judiciary in the interim constitution were “against the spirit and essence of independent judiciary.” The SC Justices will meet again on Sunday (8 Jan) to prepare the suggestions to be submitted to the government regarding the necessary amendment to the Interim Constitution, a justice present in today’s meeting said. Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and number 2 SC Justice Kedar Prasad Giri are of the opinion that it would not be appropriate to make suggestions regarding the interim statute, already finalized by the eight political parties. But SC Registrar Ram Krishna Timilsina said that the SC justices had the right, both as a citizen as well as the member of the institution (judiciary), to raise their concerns, if any, over the provision of judiciary in the interim statute. (source)