Nepal Today

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3-PARTY MEET BEGINS

3-PARTY MEET BEGINS

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 1 March: A crucial meeting of the Big There began Thursday morning sponsored by UCPN (Maoist) leading the government began at the residence of Chairman Prachanda to untie a political deadlock and embittered relations between opposition and Maoists.
The meeting come s one day before a deadline to resolve differences of statutes to be included in a constitution that has to be promulgated 28 May to institutionalize a declared republic.
Chairman Nilambar Acharya said a report of the main constitution drafting committee under him will be sent to the 601-member constituent assembly (CA)) recording the differences.
Each article in a constitution will have to be approved by two-third
Majority in the CA to launch a basis law by May end.
The task won’t be met again despite discussions and non-discussions in a Prachanda sub-committee with representatives of major parties to resolve thematic differences.
At the last moment, Prachanda, NC President Sushill Koirala and senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal were given responsibilities to present proposals for a breakthrough on integration, constitution and constitution drafting.
Prachanda proposed an integration proposal for Maoists with the appointment of a former PLA fighter with the rank of a brigadier general in Nepal Army—a proposal unacceptable to opposition NC and UML
The three leaders meet Friday after Koirala and Nepal didn’t present their proposals at the last meeting.
The here meet after the Maoist chief blasted NC and UML reflecting the deteriorating relations with parties and lack of trust to complete the peace process and constitution drafting.
“You only hear abuses while opening the television set these days. These two parties have forgotten their past deeds. You only hear abuses sometime from NC ad then the UML,“ he told a gathering Wednesday in Parsa.
Thursday’s meet comes hours after government and Maoists attempted to placate opposition by agreeing to close down 13 of 28 camps housing former PLA Maoist fighters in the next days.
Nearly 9,500 fighters are lodged at the camps for more than four years.
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DRAFT BILL PROPOSES JUDGE APPOINTMENT THROUGH OPEN COMPETITION
Kathmandu, 1 March : The Judicial Council (JC) has begun discussions on a draft bill that proposes appointing judges through open competition and making judgeships inclusive in keeping with the current wave of adopting inclusive policies and filling vacancies at constitutional bodies in a competitive fashion, Republica reports.

A JC meeting on Tuesday discussed the draft bill that proposes announcement of vacancies for judges at all three levels -- district court, appellate court and Supreme Court -- and calling of public hearings for aspiring candidates, before they are chosen for the posts.

The next meeting of the JC, which is headed by the chief justice, is expected to finalize the draft and forward it to the Ministry of Law and Justice for cabinet approval.

According to JC member Upendra Keshari Neupane, candidates aspiring for judgeships at district courts will have to appear for both a written examination and an interview, under the proposed bill. Those aspiring for appellate court judgeships will have to fill out forms to be developed by the JC.

"Those aspiring for judgeship at appellate courts will also have to attend some sort of test to be developed by the Judicial Council," said JC Secretary Jibanhari Adhikari about provisions in the bill being prepared to amend the existing Judicial Council Act.
• Related news: JC Decides To Study Faulty Court Verdicts
Similarly, the draft bill proposes that aspirants to the post of Supreme Court justice will also have to fill out a form to be developed by the JC, setting out why they want the post.

The provision, if approved, will mark a major shift from the existing practice of appointing judges on the basis of a roaster prepared by the J C secretariat in a non-transparent fashion and at the discretion of the chief justice and members of the council.

Under the existing system, those who have good contacts with the J C secretariat, the chief justice and JC members can secure appointments as judges at different courts.

JC member Neupane said that the JC has proposed appointing judges through open competition on the basis of the experience of other countries. Neupane said judges are chosen through open competition in many countries, including India, the UK and Canada.

"The draft bill aims at making the existing judicial appointments system more transparent," said Secretary Adhikari when asked why the JC felt it necessary to change the existing system.

Similarly, the draft bill has also tried to respond to public calls to make the judiciary inclusive and has proposed quotas for women, indigeneous people, Madhesis and Dalits and other backward communites in the appointment of judges. It says that 48 percent of the vacant posts for judges will be reserved for excluded groups and communities.

Of the reserved quotas, 33 percent will be allocated to women, 25 percent to indigenous peoples, 26 percent to Madhesis, seven percent to Dalits, five percent to the physically challenged and four percent to backward communities.

At present, the judiciary is one of the least inclusive institutions. As of now, only six out of the total of 191 judges at courts of different levels are women while the number of judges represenating other excluded groups and communities is also very low.

"The draft bill proposes a policy of positive discrimination in the appointment of judges," said JC member Neupane.
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