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Justice Ansari breaches code

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Justice Ansari breaches code







KATHMANDU, Sept 4 - Tahir Ali Ansari is not only a judge in the Supreme Court. He is also an elected member of an NGO with political ambitions, which is something against the set code of conduct for judges.

A Post investigation has found that Justice Ansari was elected a central member of National Muslim Forum Nepal (NMFN) during its convention held in Kathmandu in the last week of August.


"I am a member of NMFN," Justice Ali admitted after initial rebuttal.


Established in 2005 to "promote communal harmony", the NGO is now working as an organization to advocate and lobby for the rights of minority Muslims, according to Rahmatullah Miya, NMFN spokesperson. He said NMFN is being developed as a political party. It also plans to get registered as a party and take part in the elections to be held after the new constitution is in place.


His association with the NGO violates the national and international code of conduct for judges. The National Code of Conduct for Judges, 1998 says a judge cannot be a member of any organization that is not related to the field of law and justice.


The universally accepted Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, 2002, which guides code of conduct for judges in countries with common legal system, including Nepal, is more explicit in this regard.


It says, "A judge may form or join associations of judges or participate in other organizations representing the interests of judges."


Justice Ali defended his association with the NGO: "I can be a member of the NGO as it is a social one, not a political one."


According to NMFN Spokesperson Miya, Ali is working as a "think tank" for the NGO.


Even the draft of the new code of conduct prepared by judges, which is awaiting Supreme Court approval, prohibits membership of judges in any organization or NGO which does not work in the field of law and justice.


Three Supreme Court judges approached by the Post for comments said Ali's association with an NGO, which is not working in the filed of law, breaches the code of conduct for judges.


The code of conduct for judges is not legally binding. Efforts are underway to make the code binding, said a Supreme Court justice.


"Though the code of conduct is not legally binding, it should be observed religiously by judges. If judges do not care for the code, who will care then?" asked Raman Kumar Shrestha, general secretary of Nepal Bar Association.




Posted on: 2008-09-03 21:41:56 (Server Time

Source :http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=159406


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