I’m proud of my verdict, says outgoing SC judge

Kathmandu, November 8:

Supreme Court Judge Badri Kumar Basnet, one of the four apex court judges who had removed the Mahalaxmi Sugar Mill from the list of bank defaulters, said today that he was proud of his verdict on the case. He retired from his job today due to age bar.

The SC organised a function to bid him farewell. The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had recommended the House of Representatives to impeach him. Arjun Prasad Singh, another judge involved in controversy, retired four months ago. Justice Kedar Prasad Giri and Top Bahadur Magar had upheld the initial verdict passed by Singh and Basnet.

Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel, other justices and court officials attended the farewell programme.

“Nobody had pointed out figure at me during my 39-year-long service in the Judiciary, but I faced such a bitter experience prior to my retirement,” he said, adding: “I am proud of my verdict.”

Stating that he contributed for the promotion and protection of human rights while in office, Basnet accused the mediapersons and lawyers of dragging him into controversy.

Talking to this daily, he said: “It is not the profession of lawyers to provoke PAC to review Supreme Court verdicts,” he added.

“The practice of reviewing Supreme Court verdicts by a parliamentary committee does not give any good message about the Judiciary’s independence,” Basnet added. “The lawyers who took the issue to the parliament have invited a bad practice.”

He further said controversy arises in all court verdicts, as “those who lose the case always oppose the verdict.” “Parliament is not the proper body to review apex court verdicts. If there is anything wrong with the verdict, it should be corrected by the apex court itself,” he added. “Impeachment should be used against those who make mistakes,” he said, “I wish no judge would face an allegation like I did in future.”