KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 3
Dissident justices of the Supreme Court resumed hearing of all types of cases after the lottery- based cause list was formalised by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana. Rana, who was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at Armed Police Force Hospital in Kathmandu was discharged form hospital this morning.
Lawyers, who had been boycotting the benches and other court proceedings, also took part in pleading and other court proceedings. A total of 138 cases were listed for hearing today. The SC decided 12 cases and passed orders in 29 cases.
The Nepal Bar Association has warned the CJ against drawing lotteries of cases and sharing bench with other justices of the apex court. Dissident justices have also said that they will neither share any bench with Rana nor will they let him draw case lotteries.
National Assembly members Radha Sham Adhikari and Ram Narayan Bidari, who are also senior advocates, went to the Supreme Court to express solidarity with protesting lawyers who continue to protest against Rana.
Adhikari said there was no option for the CJ but to quit and if he did not do that, mistakes that he had made could be valid grounds for the initiating impeachment process against him.
He said the CJ was supposed to be the leader of the judiciary, but since due to his mistakes, not even his fellow judges accepted him as their leader, it was necessary for the CJ to resign from his post. "I do not have to say anything about the decision made by the Constitutional Council meeting where CJ Rana was also present, but it was wrong on the part of the CJ to stall the hearing of the case filed by Om Prakash Aryal challenging appointments made to constitutional bodies for almost 11 months," Adhikari said. He added that it was also wrong for the CJ to try to conduct hearing of the Aryal case where there was a clear case of conflict of interest.
"It is against the principle of justice to become judge in one's own case, but Rana appears to have ignored this principle," Adhikari said. He said the CJ also stalled recommendations made by the Justice Hari Krishna Karki-led panel, including that the one proposing automation-based cause list to guard against any attempt to assign cases to favourable bench, also called 'bench shopping.' President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Purna Man Shakya said their protest would continue until Rana's exit from the judiciary.
Bidari said the accusations made against the CJ were serious and parties were considering impeaching him if he did not resign. He said the House had been called to initiate the process of impeachment against the CJ.
He said in case the HoR initiated the impeachment process against Rana, the 11-member inquiry committee could be formed in the HoR and if its report was endorsed by one-fourth members of the HoR, Rana could be suspended.
A version of this article appears in the print on December 4, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.