The Supreme Court has decided to recognize the lockdown imposed by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19 as ‘zero period’ and thereby not count the period for judicial activities.
For the first time in the judicial history of Nepal, all the 19 justices of the apex court including the Chief Justice came together as an extended bench to give the verdict. Hence, any service recipient present in the court within 30 days after the lockdown order is lifted will get the benefit of limitation.
Accordingly, the lockdown period will not be counted for limitation, notice or the date for next hearing etc. The verdict will also replace the void of a regulation for events like the current pandemic, when service recipients cannot reach the court for service.
Though the Constitution included a provision for removing difficulty it did not envisage the work of the judiciary in times of a pandemic. Hence, considering the complexity of the matter, the apex court had also sought the opinion of the Attorney General, the Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association in this regard.
Source: National News Agency Nepal