Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi today lodged a complaint with the Parliamentary Hearing Committee challenging the nomination of High Court Judge Nahakul Subedi for Supreme Court justice.

He stated that Subedi did not meet the eligibility criteria listed in Article 129 (5) of the constitution for appointment as Supreme Court justice.

Article 129 (5) of the constitution stipulates that any citizen of Nepal, who has obtained a bachelor's degree in law and served as chief judge or a judge of the High Court for at least five years, or who has obtained a bachelor's degree in law and has constantly practised law as a senior advocate or advocate for at least fifteen years, or who is a distinguished jurist having constantly worked for at least fifteen years in the judicial or legal field, or who has served in the post of gazetted first class or a higher post of the judicial service for at least twelve years, shall be deemed eligible for appointment as a justice of the Supreme Court.

Tripathi said Subedi, who was appointed chief judge of a High Court on 9 January 2018 did not meet the qualification criteria, neither as gazetted first class post holder nor as a holder of a higher post of the judicial service.

The complainant said that nominating Subedi for apex court justice was a clear violation of the constitutional provisions and thus a mockery of constitutional supremacy.

From 9 January 2018, when Subedi was appointed as chief judge of a High Court, till March 12, he had served only for three years, three months and three days whereas the constitution stipulates that in order for a High Court judge or chief judge to qualify for SC justice, he/she must have served at least for five years.

Subedi was appointed first class gazetted officer on 24 August 2007, and he worked as chief registrar till 6 July 2017.

This means he worked as first class or higher than first class officer only for nine years, 10 months and 15 days, Tripathi stated in his complaint. He said if ineligible people were allowed to occupy important constitutional positions, their appointment could imperil the constitution.

He has urged the PHC not to approve Subedi for SC justice.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 30, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.