The Supreme Court Bar Association today issued a press release saying Supreme Court Justice nominee Nahakul Subedi did not meet the eligibility criteria for the nomination.

On March 12, the Judicial Council had recommended High Court chief judges Kumar Chudal and Nahakul Subedi as justices of the SC. Currently, Chudal is associated with High Court, Patan, and Subedi is working at High Court, Surkhet.

The SC Bar Association said the appointment of judges should be done in an impartial and transparent manner but time and again the Judicial Council that nominates SC justices has taken controversial decisions. It said that Subedi, who was made registrar and chief registrar within a short period of time against the spirit of the constitution, did not meet the eligibility criteria prescribed in Article 129 (5) of the constitution.

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 a 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 15 years, or who is a distinguished jurist having constantly worked for at least 15 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 12 years, shall be deemed eligible for appointment as a justice of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Bar Association said since Subedi, who was appointed chief judge of a High Court on 9 January 2018, had worked as a high court judge for only three years, two months and three days before being nominated for the SC justice, he did not meet the eligibility criteria.

It said that in the recent years, people were using the post of SC registrar, chief registrar, judicial council secretary, and attorney general as a stair to get nominated for SC justice and such practice was against the independence and competence of judiciary.

The association said the trend of selecting wrong persons for judges and ignoring the able and right candidates must be stopped. It said the nomination of wrong persons for the post of judges, which Subedi was the latest example of, demoralised senior and honest people serving the judiciary.

The association drew the attention of the concerned body and urged it to take decisions that could serve as guidelines for independent and competent judiciary.

Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi has also filed a complaint with the Parliamentary Hearing Committee challenging Subedi's nomination.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.