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Judicial Council Denies Information; FOE Violated

Freedom Forum has been seriously concerned over the violation of Right to Information (RTI) Act 2007 by the Judicial Council recently.

Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma who is also heading the Judicial Council denied information regarding the Council's recent decision on appointment of appellate and district judges.

Advocate Binod Karki had sought the information about the marks he and others obtained in the examination for the judge. But Council Chairman Sharma said that it was not mandatory to give the information. "There is no provision in the Interim Constitution of giving marks to the candidates during the interview," he added.
Mr Karki was one of the contenders but did not get selected.

The Acting Chief Justice's views have violated the RTI Act, as it is against Section 3 of the Act which mentions- (1) Every citizen shall, subject to this Act have the right to information. (2) Every citizen shall have access to the information held in the public bodies.

Similarly, the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 in its Article 27 states- Every citizen shall have the right to demand or receive information on any matter of his or her interest or of public interest.

Freedom Forum therefore bats for advocate Karki's right to get information.

Meanwhile, news reports have came that Judicial Council's decision on the judge appointment was politically influenced; and of late the some newly appointed judges have shown affiliation to the political party thereby reasoning the political influence.

It has also questioned the sanctity of the decision.

In a separate incident, Nepali Ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma, has written to the Qatar government to deport Nepali citizen Dipendra Bhetwal to Nepal, with false accusation that he was writing against Nepal government.

Freedom Forum is concerned over the Ambassador Sharma's view that she was violating Mr Bhetwal's right to freedom of expression.

According to the Kantipur daily published from Kathmandu, Bhetwal has been writing in the Qatar edition of the daily about ignorance of Nepal's Embassy in Qatar towards the problems of Nepali workers in Qatar.

The right to freedom of expression is frontier-less issue which everyone needs to respect. And, Sharma, as a Nepali citizen, needs to abide by Nepal's laws which have fully guaranteed one to freedom of expression, Freedom Forum concludes.