CC recommends Justice Mishra for top judicial post

Kathmandu, August 23

The Constitutional Council today unanimously nominated Acting Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra for appointment as the new chief justice.

Leader of the opposition and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba also endorsed the decision, said Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal. The CC followed the tradition of recommending the senior-most justice of the SC for CJ.

Mishra is the senior-most justice after Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who had earlier been recommended for the CJ but was rejected by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee on August 3.  Mishra assumed the duty of Acting CJ from August 5 when Joshee went on a 15-day leave. He again took a six-day casual leave on August 19 which will end tomorrow.

Earlier, Joshee had told THT that he would not resign from his post. He could not be contacted for comments today.

The CC had called its meeting a few days ago to discuss CJ nomination but put off its meeting as Leader of Opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is a member of the CC, went to Singapore for health check-up.

New CJ nominee Mishra said he was happy that the CC nominated him for the top job of the judiciary. “I thank the Constitutional Council for recommending my name. I also thank my well wishers who deemed me eligible for the nomination. I am looking forward to the process to be followed by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee,” he added.

Mishra, a resident of Raipur of Rupandehi District, was born on January 1, 1954. He holds master’s degree in Comparative Law from Delhi University (1989) and master’s degree in Political Science from Tribhuvan University (1985).  He had joined judicial service in 1981 as a section officer and was appointed as additional district judge in 1985. He was appointed as a judge of Appellate Court in 2006 and Special Court judge in 2008. He served as a Special court judge from 2008 to 2013. He again served as an Appellate Court judge for a year before being appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court on May 27, 2014.

As per the constitutional provision, justices who have served at least three years as justice of the Supreme Court qualify to be considered for CJ nomination.

Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal said that the secretariat would start the hearing process immediately after receiving nomination letter from the CC. The PHC will publish a notice seeking complaints, if any, against CJ nominee Mishra within 10 days. “The PHC can start hearing any day after the 10-day period,” he added.

Today’s meeting of the CC also incorporated all the commissions provisioned in the constitution as constitutional commissions.