Laxmi Capital News
Tax-related verdicts may be scrutinized Law Minister Tamang

‘Thiswill not undermine judicial independence’

Expressing serious reservations over a controversialverdict relating to a Rs 61 billion tax waiver handed down by the Supreme Courtin the recent past, newly-appointed Law Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang has spokenof placing the justices responsible for issuing such a verdict underscrutiny. 

Speaking at apress conference organized to brief media about the progress made so far in theformulation of various federal and provincial laws, Minister Tamang claimedthat several cases of tax waiver involving billions of rupees have been thesubject of interim orders from the Supreme Court. 

“These casesmust have drawn the attention of many. If any case of tax evasion is found tohave been settled under undue influence, it shall be scrutinized and thoseresponsible shall not be spared,” he said. 

Tamang claimedthat there had been corruption involving billions  in  tax-relatedcases. 

“So, we willlook at the verdicts in such cases. The Judicial Council (JC) can also studysuch verdicts. The Judicial Council Act has clearly provided the authority tostudy such verdicts, but there has not been any such study so far,” he said.

He said thatas  authorized by the JC Act, the government is working to purify thejudiciary and make it more pro-people. 

“These effortswill not undermine the independence of the judiciary, but will rather help toenhance it,” he further said.  “We will first see the nature of the cases.We will then activate the judiciary.” 

The ministersaid  there have been precedents where some  justices  facedaction over controversial verdicts. His ministry was currently working to amendthe Judicial Council Act to make the judiciary independent. 

Venting ireagainst the current practice of justices and judges attending  functionsorganized and sponsored by INGOs, he said the amendment would  giveadditional priority to the code of conduct for justices and judges in order toensure speedy justice delivery. 

OverRs 4 billion in donor legal aid grossly misused

Stating thatbillions of rupees spent by various donor organizations to provide legal aid tothe poor  was grossly misused, Minister Tamang said  his ministry wasmaking preparations to introduce a one-window  system to ensure thatdonors channel their funds through the government. 

“According toa 2016 report, various donor organizations have already spent over Rs 4.20billion on legal aid in the country. But this aid remained largely ineffective.We found that billions were spent on foreign trips and seminars; but thevictims never benefited,”  Tamang said. 

He said makingit mandatory for donor agencies to channel their funds through the governmentwould put an end to malpractices. 

“We willregulate foreign aid through a committee under my chairmanship to ensure accessto justice for people who are weak financially,” he added.

Provision offree legal service to those who cannot afford it has been enshrined as afundamental right in the constitution. In order to ensure that genuine victimsdo not remain without access to justice for lack of money, the ministry hasdrafted an integrated legal aid policy. This was unveiled by Minister Tamang atthe ministry  on Tuesday. 

On a separatenote, Minister Tamang said the ministry  forwarded five sample laws to theprovincial and local bodies  Tuesday. “Provincial and local bodies havebeen complaining that they have not been able to function effectively for lackof appropriate laws.” 

Source: 4th April 2018

Click here to download...!