Judges’ cases hang fire in SC

Kathmandu, August 19:

The Judicial Council (JC) headed by the Chief Justice is still undecided on the cases of four district judges who have been facing corruption and sedition charges since the last six months. One judge Birendra Kumar Karna was caught red-handed by the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) in Pyuthan district court. Two judges of the Kathmandu district court, Kedar Pyakurel and Ganesh Panjiyar, were allegedly involved in deciding cases after taking bribes. The fourth judge of Syangja district court, Chitra Dev Joshi, allegedly criticized the King from a public forum. Though separate investigation panels have already suggested the Judicial Council to sack Karna and take action against the others, the Judicial Council is still undecided.

A member of the panel of the Supreme Court, Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, after completing his investigation into the charges against judges Karna and Joshi recommended their sacking and disciplinary action against Joshi. Supreme Court Judge Anup Raj Sharma’s committee recommended disciplinary action against Panjiyar and Pyakurel. According to a Supreme Court source, judges Panjiyar and Pyakurel were also caught while taking bribes from clients in a case. According to a member of the Judicial Council, the council is wavering on certain counts. “We are thinking of deciding the cases soon,” the member added. He also added due to the vacanct slot of the royal nominee in the Judicial Council during Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma’s tenure, the Council did not take any decision. “We may take a stand soon before Chief Justice’s visit in China to participate a conference there,” he added. The four judges are in the reserve pool and without any job as there are charges pending against them. When contacted, secretary of the Judicial Council, Kashi Raj Dahal, said the Council was considering the matter.