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SC switches to lottery system to assign benches for hearings

By Kalika Khadka, KATHMANDU:- The Supreme Court (SC) has begun a lottery system to form and assign benches for hearing cases from today and the practice is historic in Nepal’s judiciary.
Through the lottery draw, 11 benches (nine division and two single) were formed today at the apex court to hear different sorts of cases.
The division bench comprising Harikrishna Karki and Bam Kumar Shrestha has been assigned to hear the least single case while the bench of Anil Kumar Singha and Kumar Regmi has been assigned to conduct hearings on the highest 43 cases.
Likewise, the bench of Deepak Kumar Karki and Tanka Bahadur Moktan has been given to deal with 16 cases while the bench of Hari Krishna Karki and Sushmalata Mathema has 28 cases for the hearing.
Bishwambhar Shrestha and Bam Kumar Shrestha are to join a bench to respond to 15 cases and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma will share a bench to hear 15 cases.
Likewise, Prakashman Singh Raut and Hari Prasad Phuyal were selected through a lottery to share a bench to deal with 17 cases while Sapana Pradhan Malla and Prakash Kumar Dhungana are assigned to hear 19 cases. Similarly, Tej Bahadur KC and Nahakul Subedi has 20 cases for the hearings.
More, Meera Khadka has 16 cases to hear through a single bench and Kumar Chudal has 15 cases. A total of 11 benches were assigned today to conduct hearings on 217 cases.
Prior to this, the Chief Justice was responsible for assigning the benches at the SC.
Practice laudable
Senior advocate Dr Chandra Kant Gyawali welcomed the new practice of the lottery system at the SC. The practice would obviously promote fair hearing as an alternative to the automation system as in Sri Lanka and in the European nations. Earlier, the SC has been recommended to go for the automation system.
On Tuesday, Nepal Bar Association had welcomed the decision to switch to the lottery system for assigning the benches for the hearings. However, some legal practitioners believe that this is not an ultimate means to promote impartial hearing.
A full court of the SC judges including the Chief Justice on December 24 had decided to go for the lottery system for the hearing from today. RSS

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