Lawyers continued their protest against Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana for the second day in a row for allegedly seeking to get his brother-in-law appointed as a minister in the Sher Bahadur Deuba Cabinet and delaying the hearing of cases filed against appointments to constitutional bodies.

The protests were called by the Nepal Bar Association and the Supreme Court Bar Association, which have asked the CJ to quit.

All other justices of the apex court have also sought CJ Rana's resignation and have been boycotting benches ever since the controversy against Rana erupted, but from today, other justices have started hearing habeas corpus writ petitions.

Former attorney general Badri Bahadur Karki told mediapersons at the Supreme Court that CJ Rana had fooled people and he had no right to seek a graceful exit. Some media outlets had reported yesterday that Rana had sought graceful exit. He said Rana had scripted many people's destiny and now was the time for scripting his own destiny by resigning from the post. Karki said that in his 45-year career as a lawyer, he had never imagined that the judiciary would face such a crisis.

Another Senior Advocate Satish Krishna Kharel said that the political parties' refusal to intervene in the judiciary was objectionable and they would pay for their mistake in the elections.

"Political leaders are saying that they do not want to interfere in the Judiciary.

Meddling with the court verdict and appointment of judges amounts to interference, but at a time when fire has engulfed the judiciary, no one should refuse to douse the fire or call the fire brigade. Dousing a fire is not interference," he argued.

He said if political parties refuse to interfere in the judiciary to resolve the current problems, then lawyers would go to leaders' constituencies to tell their electorate that they were inefficient and people should not vote for them.

A Supreme Court justice told THT that Rana had conveyed his message to rebellious justices that he wanted a graceful exit from the judiciary and if he was allowed to work till mid-April next year, he could ensure some reforms that he had promised and the period from now and mid-April could ensure his graceful exit. Rana is retiring from service around this time next year.

The justice said that although protesting justices had started hearing habeas corpus writ petitions, they were not in a mood to give any more time to Rana. He said other justices would not conduct hearing if the cause lists were prepared by Rana and if other cases were also listed in the cause list along with habeas corpus writ petitions.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 02, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.