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Thursday May 19, 2022

Apex court crisis threatens integrity of judiciary, say int'l rights bodies


Nepalnews
2021 Nov 12, 19:49, Kathmandu
The Supreme Court has issued an interim order for an investigation to be conducted against former minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha who has been accused of helping in the release of a landlord who had been accused of racial discrimination.

The international human rights bodies have warned that the independence and integrity of the judiciary in Nepal is being jeopardized by a crisis at the Supreme Court. So as to sustain human rights and the rule of law, it is essential to resolve the crisis in a way that maintains and enhances the court's credibility and independence, they said in a joint statement issued on Friday.

The statement was released jointly by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Amnesty International (AI). “The Supreme Court has a crucial role in upholding human rights and the rule of law in Nepal. But this crisis makes it extremely worrisome for the justice process,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director at the Human Rights Watch.

Similarly, Mandira Sharma, ICJ senior international legal adviser, maintained that without judicial integrity and independence, the role of the apex court would be weakened significantly, making it unable to uphold its constitutional obligation to protect human rights and the rule of law.

“The allegations against the Chief Justice must be investigated and addressed through a fair process in line with the rule of law.”

 Nirajan Thapaliya, Director of Amnesty International Nepal chapter, was of the view that an independent judiciary is the foundation of a rule of law-based system and respect for human rights. “As envisioned by the constitution, the parliament should ensure a robust, transparent, and effective investigation into the allegations faced by the Chief Justice to protect the integrity of the Supreme Court and to ensure public trust in the judiciary” he maintained.

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Supreme Court International Human Rights International Commission of Jurists Huamn Rights Watch Amnesty International AI HRW ICJ SC Judiciary Chief Justice investigation trust credibility independence jeopardize
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