CJ appointment provision opposed

KATHMANDU: Supreme Court Justices today opposed the move of the Committee on Judicial System of the Constituent Assembly to introduce a provision in the new statute to appoint the Chief Justice from outside the service.

“This can turn it into a political post; therefore, we’ve suggested not to introduce such a provision in the new constitution,” a Supreme Court Justice told The Himalayan Times.

“As at least three years experience is required to hold the post, they’ve suggested to appoint judges directly from outside, but not the CJ,” Committee member Radheshyam Adhikary said.

The justices also sought the Committee members to scrap the parliamentary hearing of the Supreme Court judges in the future constitution to be promulgated by the Constituent Assembly. Interacting with the members of the committee, the justices objected to the hearing introduced by the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007.

They insisted that the selection of the Judicial Council was perfect for the judges’ appointment and there was no need to hold the parliamentary hearing.

The Committee chairman Prabhu Shah and members Radheshyam Adhikary, Eak Raj Bhandari and Kunti Shahi met the justices of the Supreme Court in order to collect their views regarding the system of the judiciary in the future constitution.

Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Justices Anup Raj Sharma, Ram Prasad Shrestha, Khil Raj Regmi, Bala Ram KC, Top Bahadur Magar, Damodar Prasad Sharma Gauri Dhakal and Krishna Prasad Upadhayay participated in the interaction.

“We’ve objected to the introduction of the judicial committee in the parliament to recommend the President to appoint justices,” a justice of the apex court said. “We suggested them not to introduce such system and adopt the South African model where the Judicial Council recommends for the judges’ appointment,” he added.

The apex court justice also rejected the criteria of the interim constitution to impeach a judge on condition of his or her mental and physical incapacity. “These are not the ground to impeach judges as if any judge involve in corruption and irregularities and have any lack of incapacity to hold the post he should be impeached but not on those grounds,” the justice added.

The committee has proposed three tire of judiciary in the federal system. According to Adhikary they have proposed Supreme Court in the center; high court in every state and district court or local court in every district. “These are only proposals and we will take decisions only after consulting the concerned stakeholders,” Adhikary added.