Judicial Council orders probe against four judges

Kathmandu, July 29

The Judicial Council has formed two committees to investigate alleged wrongdoing by four judges — three Pokhara High Court judges and one Kathmandu District Court judge.

According to Information Officer of the Judicial Council Teknath Gautam, the JC formed a committee under Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla to investigate the three judges of Pokhara High Court for acting beyond their jurisdiction in a case filed by Gorkha Brewery.

A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana of the Supreme Court had, on July 24, ordered the JC to take action against Pokhara High Court judges — Jiwan Hari Adhikari, Nara Bahadur Shahi and Ramchandra Yadav — for passing orders in the case as it was not under their jurisdiction.

The JC also formed a committee under Supreme Court Justice Tej Bahadur KC to probe whether Kathmandu District Court Judge Arjun Prasad Koirala passed an erroneous order in a contract litigation in which he allegedly allowed the parties to settle their case through compromise.

As far as the case against three Pokhara High Court judges is concerned, on July 24, the SC also stayed the interim order passed by the single and division benches of Pokhara High Court that had stayed the Bharatpur Inland Revenue Office’s decision to impose excise duty on the company.

According to Gautam, the probe committee formed under Malla is supposed to submit its report within 15 days.

A single bench of Pokhara High Court Ram Chandra Yadav first issued an interim order in the case, which was endorsed by the division bench of Jiwan Hari Adhikari and Nara Bahadur Shahi.

Bharatpur Inland Revenue Office had challenged Pokhara High Court’s order in the SC, arguing that the order was erroneous as the judges had acted beyond their jurisdiction.

Inland Revenue Office, Bharatpur had argued that Gorkha Brewery should have registered its writ petition at Patan High Court or its Hetauda bench, of Province 3, but it filed its case at Pokhara High Court, which falls under Gandaki Province.

The JC a formed a committee under SC Justice Tej Bahadur KC to investigate complaints against Kathmandu District Court Judge Arjun Prasad Koirala for allowing the parties to settle their case through compromise. The plaintiff was allowed to register land plots in his name.

Ram Kumar Suyel Thapa had filed a case against Mina Kumari Thapa, claiming that the defendant did not fulfil her contractual obligation and KDC Judge Koirala had allowed them to settle their case through compromise without probing whether the land plots claimed by the plaintiff was private or public land. KDC had adjudicated the case on 13 August 2014.

Gautam said that a complaint was lodged at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority against Judge Koirala but since the CIAA did not have jurisdiction over judges, the anti-graft body referred the case to the JC following which the JC decided to probe the allegation levelled against him.