The Former Judges Forum-Nepal has issued a press release urging Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, who has been embroiled in a controversy over his alleged attempt to seek spoils of political appointments and share in the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led Cabinet, to resign from his post.

Accusing Rana of acting against interests of the judiciary, the FJF-N said if CJ Rana did not resign, the House of Representatives should probe all controversies against him.

The retired judges' association said the appointment of CJ Rana's relative as a minister raised serious questions against Rana.

Gajendra Bahadur Hamal, who is Rana's brother in-law, was appointed minister of industry, commerce and supplies but quit the Cabinet after reports that CJ Rana lobbied for his appointment in the Cabinet.

The FJF-N said it would be appropriate for Rana to quit the post of CJ to save the dignity, credibility, and independence of the judiciary.

It said so in view of questions being raised by the committee led by Justice Hari Krishna Karki about the role of the CJ, controversies about choosing justices for the bench in several cases, including those about HoR dissolution, allegations that he got kickbacks for making appointments to constitutional bodies, delay in the hearing of cases in which Rana is a defendant, and reports that the CJ sought to get his kin appointed as a minister in the Cabinet, "But if the CJ does not display generosity for the sake of judiciary, we urge the HoR to come forward to fulfill its constitutional duty of fairly investigating all the controversies concerning the CJ," the FJF-N said.

The FJF-N has said that the Supreme Court's failure to conduct even the first hearing in the case filed against appointments made by the Constitutional Council had undermined the credibility of the judiciary.

The FJF-N also condemned CJ Rana's attempt to preside over those cases in the constitutional bench where he himself was a defendant calling his attempt an act against the principle of natural justice.

Retired judges' association also blamed the practice of ignoring judicial staff for judgeship and appointing others as judges for the sorry state of the judiciary.

The association also called for a probe into the Supreme Court's decision that commuted murder convict Ranjan Prasad Koirala's punishment by 12 years.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 23, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.