Democracy, judiciary undermined, says NC

Kathmandu, August 4

The main opposition Nepali Congress today said the Parliamentary Hearing Committee’s rejection of chief justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee had undermined democracy and independence of the judiciary.

The NC’s party office bearers’ meeting and the meeting of the parliamentary party today reached this conclusion.

Both meetings concluded that the Constitutional Council led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had nominated Deepak Raj Joshee for the post of chief justice, but his party’s lawmakers at the PHC had rejected the PM’s recommendation, which was not right.

NC’s Joint-general secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat said Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers were trying to create confusion. “Their PM recommends a person for the post; but some of the party’s lawmakers reject him. “Congress is not talking about one person. We are talking about the process and the institution,” he added.

CJ nominee Joshee was rejected by the PHC with two-thirds majority yesterday. NC lawmakers defied the process by boycotting the vote.

The NC will question the CJ’s nomination process by  the Constitutional Council in the Parliament, said NC lawmaker Rajan KC.

“If Joshee was not deemed fit, why did the Constitutional Council nominate him for the CJ’s post?” he asked, adding that this was an issue that raised the question of the PM’s morality too. He said the opposition party’s lawmakers would raise questions tomorrow at the House of Representatives meeting.

Lawmaker Prakash Rasaili Snehi said the meeting also talked about the communist government attacking the judiciary from the party as well as from the Parliament. “They are attacking the separation of powers. This poses a grave threat to democracy,” he said, adding that the NC would raise its voice against this.

The Nepali Congress Whip for the House of Representatives Pushpa Bhusal said they had also informed about yesterday’s incident to all the lawmakers in the parliamentary party meeting.

“As the Parliament has already formed thematic committees, we are planning further moves,” she added.

The first meeting of NC Office bearers as well as central committee members was held in party President Sher BahadurDeuba’s house at Budhanilkhantha. Later, the NC parliamentary party meeting was held in Singha Durbar.