Nepal | May 25, 2020

Impeachment proposal against CJ Karki on Silwal verdict’s eve

KESHAV P. KOIRALA
Share Now:
Sushila Karki, nominated for the vacant position of Chief Justice of Nepal, faces the parliamentary hearing, at the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee meeting, in Kathmandu, on Sunday, July 10, 2016. Photo: RSS

File – Sushila Karki assumed the Chief Justice’s office on August 1, 2016. Photo: RSS

KESHAV P. KOIRALA
KATHMANDU
: Lawmakers of ruling Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre on Sunday afternoon registered an impeachment motion against Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Sushila Karki at the Parliament Secretariat, accusing her of interfering with the executive including in the appointment of Nepal Police’s chief, breaching the principles of separation of power, influencing her fellow Justices and failing to fulfill her duties in judiciary efficiently.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Min Bahadur Bishwakarma is the proposer and Maoist lawmaker Tek Bahadur Basnet the seconder of the motion. It is said that a total of 251 lawmakers have signed the motion.

Bishwakarma and Basnet have made a slew of allegations against Karki to justify why the impeachment motion was moved against her.

One fourth of the total number of  Members of Parliament can challenge any the Justice of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with a motion of impeachment at the Parliament “on the ground of his or her failure to fulfil his or her duties of office because of serious violation of this Constitution and law, incompetence or misconduct or failure to discharge the duties of office honestly or serious violation of the code of conduct”, according to the Article 101.2 of Nepal’s Constitution.

They claimed that the SC verdict that Karki made against the promotion of Nepal Police’s Inspector General interefered with the Cabinet’s executive right granted by the Constitution’s Article 75 by referring to a non-existing provision in the Rule 41 of Nepal Police Regulation. They charged that Karki manipulated the facts –by swiping two DIGs’s work performance evaluation scores — and resorted to falsity while issuing the verdict.

Another allegation against her includes being biased while fixing benches as she repeatedly chose five Justices among 19, and directing the Justices to deliver the verdicts the way she wanted. Further, they said Karki did not abide by rules and regulations but breached them and was guided by her ulterior motives while delivering justice. According to them, Karki put the court’s dignity, independence and fairness at stake.

Instead of treating justices at the Supreme Court equally, they said, Karki resorted to groupism, and failed to deliver justice independently and provide an environment to others to do so.

Since Karki made a serious breach of Nepal’s Constitution and laws as well as the code of conduct for the justices, failed to bear her responsibilities, according to the letter, the impeachment motion was brought as per the Rule 168.1 of the Parliament Regulations.

After the commencement of impeachment proceedings under the Article 101.2, according to the Article 101.6, the chief or official of any constitutional body shall not be allowed to discharge the duties of his or her office pending the settlement of such proceedings. That means Karki will face an automatic suspension.

The impeachment motion comes on the eve of SC’s final verdict on a case filed by DIG Nawaraj Silwal against Prakash Aryal’s appointment as the Inspector General of Nepal Police.

Earlier, a full bench of the Supreme Court, chaired by Chief Justice Karki, had revoked the Cabinet’s February 12 decision to appoint Jaya Bahadur Chand the Nepal Police chief — dubbing it arbitrary, flawed, unjust and a bizarre example of pick and choose.

With a conclusion that the government did not follow the Nepal Police Regulations and other established norms while elevating Chand to the Nepal Police’s top post, the SC categorically told the government to consider seniority as well as merit and petitioner [Nawaraj Silwal]’s legitimate expectation while making decision then after. Many believed that the verdict had paved the way for Silwal’s appointment as the IGP.

The government, however, on April 10, appointed Prakash Aryal the IGP. Silwal moved the apex court again.

On April 25, in response to a supplementary writ filed by Silwal, a division bench of three Justices told the government not to take any action concerning the IGP appointment as it was sub judice until the final hearing on the writ petition scheduled for May 2.

Karki had assumed her office at the Supreme Court as Nepal’s first woman justice on August 1, 2016.

This is the second time that the lawmakers moved an impeachment motion against any head of constitutional body after the new constitution was promulgated in September 2015.

Earlier, the CPN-UML and Maoist lawmakers had filed an impeachment motion against the then chief of Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Lok Man Singh Karki faced an impeachment motion.

Karki, however, was automatically removed after the Supreme Court dubbed him ineligible for the post, at the time Parliament was buying time to take a concrete decision on the proposal.


What’s in the Constitution

Article 101.2. Impeachment: One fourth of the total number of the then members of the House of  Representatives may move a motion of impeachment against the Chief Justice of Nepal or a Judge of the Supreme Court, member of the Judicial Council, chief or official of a Constitutional Body on the ground of his or her failure to fulfil his or her duties of office because of serious violation of this Constitution and law, incompetence or misconduct or failure to discharge the duties of office honestly or serious violation of the code of conduct. If the motion is passed by at least two thirds majority of the total number of the then members of the House of Representatives, the concerned person shall relieve of his or her office.

Article 101.6 After the commencement of impeachment proceedings under clause (2), the Chief Justice of Nepal or Judge of the Supreme Court, member of the Judicial Council, chief or official of the Constitutional Body shall not be allowed to discharge the duties of his or her office pending the settlement of such proceedings.

Article 101.7 A person who is charged with impeachment under clause (1) or (2) shall be provided with a reasonable opportunity to defend himself or herself.


@keshuvko


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

19 new cases confirmed on Sunday, nationwide COVID-19 count reaches 603

KATHMANDU: Nineteen new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Population, today, taking the nationwide tally to 603. The infections were confirmed through tests carried out at Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Biratnagar, Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Bhair Read More...

117 Nepali succumb to Covid-19 worldwide, 12821 infections reported

KATHMANDU: Covid-19 has lead to a casualty of 117 Nepalis globally, three of them in Nepal, as per data maintained by the Non-Resident Nepalis Associalion, till Saturday evening. As many as 21 Nepalis succumbed to the disease last week alone. Of the 21 fatalities reported, nine cases hailed from Read More...

Govt declares Monday a public holiday for Eid-al-Fitr

KATHMANDU: The government has declared Monday a public holiday on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of Ramadan -- the month-long fasting. Government of Nepal had earlier decided on announcing a public holiday on Sunday. However, acco Read More...

NKorea's Kim vows to further bolster nuclear war deterrence: KCNA

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a military meeting to discuss new policies to bolster the country's nuclear capabilities amid stalled denuclearisation talks with the United States, state media KCNA said on Sunday. The meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's powerful Central Milit Read More...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel's Netanyahu goes on trial for corruption

JERUSALEM: The corruption trial of Benjamin Netanyahu opens on Sunday in a Jerusalem court, where he will become the first serving Israeli prime minister to face criminal prosecution, in a case he calls a political witch-hunt. Netanyahu is required to appear for the session in Jerusalem District Read More...

'Avatar' movie sequel to resume production in New Zealand

LOS ANGELES: A sequel to James Cameron's sci-fi movie blockbuster "Avatar" will go back into production next week for the first time since it was shuttered by worldwide efforts to contain the coronavirus, producer Jon Landau said on Friday. Film and TV production came to halt around the g Read More...

COVID-19 positive flees Janakpur Provincial Hospital

JANAKPURDHAM: A COVID-19 positive person fled the Temporary Coronavirus Special Unit of the Provincial Hospital, Janakpurdham in Dhanusha district on Saturday night. The 45-year-old person housed in a single room of the isolation ward fled the hospital by breaking the room's window, informed Kuld Read More...

NAC's fourth chartered flight to Japan scheduled for tonight

KATHMANDU: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is operating its fourth chartered flight to Japan to send back Japanese nationals stranded in Nepal and other Nepali passengers, tonight. The flight chartered by the Japanese Embassy in Kathmandu is scheduled to take off at 9:00 pm. The NA’s wide b Read More...