Complaint filed to impeach Justice Anand Monan Bhattarai

Kathmandu, September 7

A complaint of inefficiency against Supreme Court Justice Anand Mohan Bhattarai was lodged at the Parliament Secretariat yesterday, seeking to initiate the process to impeach him.

The complaint was lodged by Dinesh Chaudhari and supported by three lawmakers- Haricharan Shah of Nepali Janata Dal, Rukmini Chaudhari of Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch (Tharuhat), and Ram Kumar Rai of Khambuwan Rastriya Morcha, Nepal.

Complainant Chaudhari told THT that he lodged the complaint because Justice Bhattarai, on the first day of his duty at the apex court, endorsed the SC Registrar’s decision to refuse a case he wanted to file wherein he had sought court’s order in favour of expeditious adjudication of cases involving students.

Chaudhari said justice delayed is justice denied and hence he wanted the court to direct all concerned bodies to adjudicate students’ case as soon as possible without requiring them to go through a ‘lengthy and painful process’ which sometimes drive the litigant students to commit suicide.

Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Bharat Raj Gautam said it was merely a complaint and not an impeachment proposal in itself. He said the complaint, which was supported by three lawmakers, had accused Justice Bhattarai of aiding inefficiency.

“This is a sensitive matter and I can only say this at this stage,” he told THT. Justice Bhattarai is among the 11 justices who was appointed on August 1.

Assistant Spokesperson for Parliament Secretariat Sudarshan Kuikel said the Speaker had the power to take the proposal to the House or reject it. He said if the Speaker decided to act further on the proposal she could form an 11-member committee telling it to send a report to her on the basis of which she could take further decision on the matter.

Constitutional lawyer Bhimarjun Acharya said impeachment process could move ahead only after one fourth of the Parliament supported it. He said the complaint was an attempt on the part of the supporting lawmakers to seek cheap popularity.

An impeachment motion, he added, can be passed only by a two-third majority.

A source at the Parliament Secretariat said initiating the process of impeachment against somebody was a serious matter, and therefore, a lot of consideration would be given on whether or not further action was needed on the complaint.

Supreme Court Registrar Shreekant Paudel said the SC had not received any information about the complaint.