Press Release - Constitution Day, 2077

Sat Sep 19 2020

Paluwa congratulates people of Nepal on the joyous occasion of the 5th Constitution Day. This marks the victory of Nepalese people in the 7 decades long struggle to exercise their sovereign power in drafting their own law of the land.

However, Paluwa urges that we must not forget the qualms of dissidents and those, among us, who are discontent with the constitution. While celebrating the constitution, discontent must not be dismissed with a light remark that 'they have informally adopted the constitution'. Or else, we shall fail the constitutional ideal of inclusive and participatory democracy. Debate and discourse on both the provisions and the spirit must be carried out every single day so that more and more voices can be incorporated and reforms based on practical experience can be made in the constitution. This can be done via periodic review based on agreement forged between the partisan views, possible only through regular dialogues on what the constitution entails and should aspire to incorporate.

Paluwa mourns the death of two stalwarts whose 'life in law' keeps inspiring us. Former Chief Justice Anirudra Prasad Singh led the nascent Supreme Court for a period of three years. His term is memorable for many reasons, inter alia, licensing advocates, publication of Nepal Kanoon Patrika, providing accused with fair trial by recording their statement in absence of police, initiation of the system of providing state paid lawyer to those who cannot hire one, his remark on court seeking to protect 'Chicken' (people) from 'the Eagle' (government) and his role in laying down the foundation of the Supreme Court building.

We also lost Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer and an inspiration to so many of us and a pop culture reference to the rest. She was a strategic lawyer always believing in the judicial system and constitutional justice despite all odds. A judge who transcended hallowed Supreme Court and reached to the heart of millions of common people. Her skill of understanding and, unequivocally, addressing the real and lived lives of plaintiffs, instead of treating them as mere names to the case or an abstraction, should guide all of us. Her unwavering and life long commitment to constitution, justice, reform, equality and the hard work she put in her work, without compromising quality and quantity despite several bouts of cancer, makes her a hero that we aspire to follow but will always fall so short.

On account of the demise of the former CJN, Paluwa urges that legal fraternity starts conducting research on life, time and contribution of our legends in law. When we claim to have been inspired by them, we can do no less than trace their actual contribution to justice and honour them accordingly. Paluwa intends to initiate such projects on its own capacity as well.

May we achieve more of our goals of constitutionalism in the days to follow.