SC warns govt of action if papers not furnished within week, case against Karki's appointment to reopen

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court of Nepal on Friday heard it was irresponsible on part of the government as it failed to furnish records related to the appointment of Lok Man Singh Karki as the Chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on time.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki, Justice Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha and Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla ordered that the government send the sought documents within next seven days or face the music.

Supreme Court verdict on Lok Man Singh Karki appointment, on Friday, September 16, 2016.
Supreme Court verdict on Lok Man Singh Karki appointment, on Friday, September 16, 2016.

The apex court also warned that action would be taken against the government as per Section 34(2) of the Judicial Administration Act, 2016 if the government could not furnish the court with the documents by then.

Earlier, last week, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers had written to the apex court that the papers could not be found out as they were misplaced while shifting the office after the 2015 earthquake.

Likewise, the Ministry of General Administration had written that the file about action taken against Karki, who was the Chief Secretary then, after he was found involved in suppressing the Janaandolan II in 2006, was also missing and immediately could not be found out.

Case against Karki to reopen

Observing that there was fault in the apex court's two year-old order while quashing the writ filed by advocate Om Prakash Aryal, the three justices said the case would be reviewed as it raised a question on constitutional provision about high moral character sought for the constitutional position and whether Karki, who served in the Palace for over six years, was eligible for the appointment.

Considering Karki's service in the palace for six years, two months and 10 days for the 20-year service criterion, fixed by the Interim Constitution for the appointment in the CIAA, was against the Principle of Constitution Construction, they observed.

As the Rayamajhi Commission had recommended action against Karki and the process of action had already been initiated, according to them, the apex court's previous verdict, dated September 24, 2014 (in favour of Karki) was against its precedent and the judicial principle that conviction was possible from the judicial body and judicial process only.

Responding to Aryal's latest writ petition, a full bench of three justices –Deepak Karki, Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha and Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada– on August 26 had told the authorities to forge the documents related to his appointment along with the clarification that the government sought from him in 2007 when Karki was the Chief Secretary.

Karki was appointed as the chief of the anti-graft constitution body for six years in May 2013.

Aryal has asked the apex court to see if Karki, who was accused of corruption and held responsible for suppression during the Janaandolan II during the royal regime, was eligible to be the CIAA chief.