The new constitution has clearly defined the role of three organs of the state – executive, legislature and judiciary – along with three separate responsibilities to maintain checks and balances in the functioning of the state. It is the executive which is the implementing agency of the law and fiscal budget passed by the legislature, and the judiciary has the responsibility of interpreting the constitution and examining whether or not any Act contradicts the constitution. The three important organs of the constitution must work in tandem with each other so that clear checks and balances are maintained without encroaching upon the prerogatives and power of the others.
As an elected sovereign body, Parliament has the right to pass bills and fiscal budget and create other legal instruments, as allowed by the constitution, based on which the executive body or council of ministers executes. The court of law, especially the Supreme Court, is the final authority to interpret the constitution and law which has to be respected by all. If any of the three organs of the state violates the principle of checks and balance the state cannot function properly as envisioned by the constitution drafted by elected representatives.
Since last week, a very awkward situation emerged when a single bench of Supreme Court justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana on Friday issued an interim order in the defendant’s name – the Legislature-Parliament – directing it to maintain “status quo” on the impeachment motion registered against sitting Chief Justice Sushila Karki on April 30 until the final verdict on the interim order. As many as 249 lawmakers representing the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre had registered the impeachment motion which received flak from different walks of life, including the international community. The society has been polarised into two schools of thought over the impeachment motion and the SC’s interim order. Such a situation will not augur well for the smooth functioning of the three equally important organs of the state. While the charge-sheet labeled in the impeachment motion does not have strong ground to prove that the sitting CJ has deviated from her duty the interim order issued by the SC has no constitutional ground on which it has been issued.
The new constitution has given certain prerogatives to the Legislature-Parliament that cannot be questioned in the Supreme Court. The lawmakers have the constitutional right and parliamentary prerogatives to bring an impeachment motion against the CJ, SC justices and chiefs and members of other constitutional bodies if they find that their performance is unsatisfactory as defined by the constitution. There should be no confusion that it is the prerogative of the lawmakers who can bring an impeachment motion against any one of them, and it cannot be questioned in the court of law. But those who tend to bring such serious motions against them must have solid ground to prove their claims. As enough damage has been done by both the Parliament and Judiciary over the promotion of a police official it will be wise to find a way out to avoid further confrontation between the two organs. Both the sides must exercise restraint to uphold each other’s exclusive role and dignity.
Vaccination against yellow fever is now available at the Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Diseases Hospital at a subsidized rate. The vaccine costs Rs. 2,700 in the hospital while it can cost more in other places. Those travelling to African and South American countries are required to have the vaccine where the viral disease is prevalent. Once vaccinated one has immunity from yellow fever for life and no booster doses are needed. Yellow fever causes fever, headache and even jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. A few people who get infected with this disease die within seven to 10 days after they develop severe symptoms. Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquito bites of certain species.
Most people who suffer from the disease lack immunity and live in densely populated areas where there are a large number of mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti. Since this disease can prove fatal it is essential to be vaccinated against the disease specially for those who travel to Africa and South American countries. The health desk of Tribhuvan International Airport should check the passengers if they have the certification for vaccination.
The Himalayan Times, May 8, 2017