Justices Sharma, Jha on same bench

Kathmandu, September 22:

The Chief Justice yesterday put Supreme Court justices Paramananda Jha and Anup Raj Sharma, who is investigating a corruption case against justice Jha, together in a bench to hear over a dozen of cases. Sharma is heading an investigation committee, which is probing corruption case against Jha who is accused of taking bribe to release a drug peddler on bail.

The Judicial Council, which is headed by the Chief Justice, had formed the committee to ascertain Jha’s involvement in the alleged bribetaking. Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Ram Prasad Shrestha are other members of the probe committee.

It is reported all the members of the probe panel and other justices had requested Chief Justice Paudel not to assign them any case in a bench along with justice Jha. “Despite several requests from the justices, Paudel today formed the division bench of justices Sharma and Jha,” a judge of the apex court said yesterday. The bench is to hear over 15 cases including Narayan Prasad Jaisi versus the District Police Office and Shobha Dhakal versus the Police Headquarters. Justice Jha is accused of taking bribe and releasing Dil Bahadur Gurung, a drug peddler, who was arrested two years ago while trying to smuggle out 779 kg of marijuana. It is said that the Sharma-led committee has reached the final stage of investigation. The panel had yesterday sought suggestions from the president of Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa and the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Dhruba Nath Pant. According to a source, Thapa and Panta suggested the committee to take strong action against justice Jha.