Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Might of the Generals??

This is a follow-up to my post of 17 March 2009.

Just saw the piece below on NepalNews.com. The die is cast. Does Nepal have an independent judiciary? What are the "legal procedures" not completed by the government? Why only a one-member bench of the SC? Not being a legal expert, I do not have the answers.

The government apparently still has the opportunity to provide a rebuttal to this decision. But this is a novel occasion when the judiciary has had the guts to challenge the executive branch of our government. Will the executive branch, led by the UCPN-M, take this challenge as as an exercise in the democratic process? Or will the YCL plagues us more intensely? Will the schism between the Defense Ministry and the Nepal Army widen further? Will the NA have the nerve to stand up for its rights and fulfill its duty to protect the country?

I am tempted to use the cliche "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind", but that would not be right. We Nepalis listen to the wind too much. The "ke garne" mode of "action" has already made this country secular, rid it of the monarchy, and placed in power a government which rules by ordnances. I can only hope that on this particular case, justice is done.


"The Supreme Court has ordered the government to reinstate the eight Generals of the Nepal Army on Tuesday.

After first day’s hearing of the writ filed by the generals whose tenure was not extended by the coalition government, the one-member bench of the Justice Kalyan Shrestha issued an interim order in the name of government to reinstate the generals.

Failing to get their term extended, the army officials reached Supreme Court on Sunday saying that government decision was illegal.

The SC verdict says the government decision not to the extend terms for the army generals did not complete legal procedures.

The order would remain as final verdict of the court unless government supplies sufficient reasons to prove that its decision completed all legal procedures, lawyers say." nepalnews.com mar 24 09


Anonymous said...

I think you need to separate 2 issues here.

1)the authority of the Ministry of Defense to not extend the terms

2)the process by which this was done

The supreme court has come back on point 2. but the main issue of 1. is unchallenged. Pls see yesterday’s interview with Ret. Maj. Gen Rajendra Thapa in Drishti. He also says the same thing. The conclusion being that if the Army needs well trained generals and the appropriate term is 7 years – why not amend the army act to make it so. If anyone is incompetent you can have a clause to remove the person at anytime anyway. The reason being that the existing system provides the basis for personal judgement and preference over institutional needs. The real issue is who uses this personal judgement – the chief or the minister. So better remove scope for this altogether.

Subodh said...

If the Major Generals have 7 years tenure, will not one day the army chief be as old as GPK?

Big Smile

HORATIO said...

Anon 8:01, Your points are well taken.

The Defense Ministry does have the authority to do what it did. But the Defense Minister as well as the PM are leaders of a political party which has its own private army - the PLA. Therefore, I would argue that, in a situation like this, we must not bow under the misguided decisions of people who
basically can be termed warlords". I know I am being political rather than following the rule of law, but then who follows the rule of law here anyway!

Subodh dai, your sharp humor aside, let us not forget Bhakti Thapa who fought against the Brits and laid his life down at the age of 70+. Now if only our octogenarian NC President would do the same...