Prologue (Administration of Justice Act 2073)

Administration of Justice Act 2073 was authenticated and published in Bhadra 2073 A.D. for the amendment and unification of the law relating to the Administration of Justice by the Legislature-Parliament.

The Preamble of the Act states that the act was passed for the establishment and arrangement of Jurisdiction of Courts for impartial, effective, and accessible Justice.

The Act has specified the Structure and Jurisdiction of the District and High Court. It has also incorporated various jurisdictions of the Supreme Court that haven’t been mentioned in the Constitution.

It succeded Supreme Court Act 2048, the Administration of Justice Act 2048, the Supreme Court Act 2013, and the Pradhan Nyayalaya Act 2008 as the premier Judicial Act of Nepal.

District Court

Structure of District Court

District Court is to be established in each District of Nepal and situated in the district headquarters. Each District Court must have district Judges. The number of Judges is determined based on workload through the Judicial Council.

The Chief Justice can designate the required number of additional judges on the recommendation of the Judicial Council. In conditions where the Court consists of more than one District Juge, the senior district Judge must work as the Chief of the District Court.

Jurisdiction of District Court

The administration of the Justice Act has vested the District Court with the authority to try and resolve cases within the geography of its district. It can issue the writ of Habeas Corpus and Prohibition through the act and the Constitution of Nepal.

It can also issue an order of Injunction to protect infringed legal rights or a potential infringement of Rights.

The District Court has been conferred to hear appeals against decisions made by Quasi-Judicial Bodies or Authorities. It can also hear appeals against final orders or decisions given by the Judicial Bodies of the Local Level.

High Court

Structure of the High Court

Each province is required to have its high court situated in the provincial capital determined by the Government of Nepal with the Judicial Council. Temporary Benches can also be established in other places within the Jurisdiction of the High Court.

The High Court can consist of the required number of Judges not exceeding the total number of one hundred Sixty posts. It shall also consist of One Chief Judge and other Judges with a minimum of ten Judges in each High Court. The most senior Judge among those assigned works as the Chief of the Bench.

Jurisdiction of High Court

The High Court can try and settle commercial cases, and constitutional cases as stated by the Constitution and other Federal Laws. It can also issue necessary and appropriate orders over file applications.

Moreover, it has the power to appeal over cases settled by the District Court and cases with reversal of decisions of the Judicial Body by the District Court.

The High Court can also review the reference judgments for Heinous Criminal Cases.

Other Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court in Nepal has the authority to hear appeals for cases tried and decided by the High Court, cases where imprisonment of more than 10 years has been imposed and cases with reversal in decision or significant penalties have been imposed.

Reference of the Case can also be addressed by the Court of Nepal for cases with life imprisonment sentences from the High Court to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court can review its Judgement or final orders in conditions when new facts come into light or if the decision taken violates the basic principles of Law.

The Supreme Court of Nepal can also revise judgments or final orders made by the High Court in matters of constitutional or legal errors or disobedience of law precedents.

The Act has also provisioned for petitioning for Provisional and/or Interim Orders at higher courts for cases involving Imprisonment for ten years or more.

Attributes and Features

Contempt of Court

The Supreme Court has the authority to initiate legal proceedings against individuals or citizens that obstruct or show disrespect to its orders or judgment as well as those of the High Court and District Court.

Both the High Court and District Court have the jurisdiction to initiate proceedings against the Contempt of Court for itself and bodies subordinate to it.

The Court can punish imprisonment for up to one year, and a fine of NPR. 10, 000 or both.

Finality of Decision

The Decisions made by the court, body, or authority cannot be retried in the same court or authority. However, minor mistakes in typing and writing can be corrected.

These Decisions are considered final and binding on all parties involved, except when explicitly stated as such.

Transfer of Case

The Supreme Court can withdraw and hear cases under the High Court and order the transfer of cases from one High Court to Another or from One District Court to another.

Inspection

Every Court has a compulsory responsibility of conducting a thorough inspection of its subordinate bodies at least once a year under the leadership of its judges.

The Procedure of Judicial Inspection involves diving into case files related to Detained Individuals, Children, Vulnerable Individuals, and cases of Public Nature. It also covers the execution of Judgment and Compliance with orders from Superior Courts.

After the completion of the Inspection, the Report is committed to the Supreme Court, Judicial Council, and all other relevant authorities.

Issue Search Warrant

The Court can issue a search warrant in the Following Circumstances

  1. The detainee is being held in inhuman conditions or with illegal torture.
  2. The court deems it necessary to issue a search warrant
  3. The necessity of a Search Warrant is presented by the Petitioner along with the possibility of being transferred to another location to evade the Court’s Order.

Appeals

If any decision or judgment made by the Judicial Body was appealable, then, it can be commenced to the High Court. Then, a petition of appeal can be filed in the Supreme Court against the Judgement of the High Court of Nepal or the Special Court of Nepal.

When a court or another Judicial Body issues an order for the submission of the file, document, or related information, the addressed office must comply with the order within a specified time.

If the office fails to send the document, the court can impose a fine ranging from NPR 1,000 to NPR 10,000 on the Chief of the concerned office.

 Epilogue

The Administration of Justice Act was established to organize the overall substantive Provision of the Judiciary of Nepal. Its preamble states that its enactment was designed to promote impartial, effective, and accessible justice for all citizens.

Moreover, the Act has laid down a broad range of Jurisdiction to the District Courts of Nepal along with the original authority to try and resolve cases within its territory. It can also issue extraordinary Jurisdiction.

The High Court has been granted jurisdiction over a wide range of cases related to Commercial and Constitutional Matters. It has also incorporated several provisions of Jurisdiction for the Supreme Court.

All three Courts of Nepal have the authority to initiate the Proceedings of Contempt of Court that can result in imprisonment of up to 1 year or up to 10 NPR 10, 000 or both when deemed necessary.

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