PHC confirms Om Prakash Mishra as new CJ

KATHMANDU: The Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) today has unanimously endorsed Om Prakash Mishra for his appointment as new chief justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court (SC).

The Committee conducted hearings on complaints filed against Mishra before giving its approval to appoint him as the CJ, according to Committee Coordinator, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna.

The Committee had received four complaints against him, one of which was later withdrawn. The parliamentary hearings were conducted on the remaining three complaints.

The Constitutional Council on August 23 had unanimously nominated Acting Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra for the appointment in the top judicial post after the PHC rejected CJ nominee Deepak Raj Joshee, citing controversial issues related to the candidate’s academic certificates and discrepancies in his date of birth. He neither produced adequate evidence nor furnished satisfactory answers to the questions.

The PHC also discussed and conducted the presentation of judiciary work plan and its improvement in the meeting.

Mishra will assume the office of the top judicial post after President Bidya Devi Bhandari makes his appointment.

Mishra is the senior-most justice after Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who had earlier been recommended for the position of CJ. Joshee was later rejected by the PHC on August 3. Mishra assumed the duty of Acting CJ from August 5 when Joshee went on a 15-day leave.

Mishra, a resident of Raipur of Rupandehi district, was born on January 1, 1954. He holds a master’s degree in Comparative Law from Delhi University (1989) and another master’s degree in Political Science from Tribhuvan University (1985). He joined judicial service in 1981 as a section officer and was appointed as the additional district judge in 1985. He was appointed as a judge of Appellate Court in 2006 and as Special Court judge in 2008. He served as the 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 in the Supreme Court qualify to be considered for CJ nomination.