KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 25
Amid their continued protest against Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, Nepal Bar Association and dissident justices of the Supreme Court today discussed the new Supreme Court Regulation that incorporates provision related to lottery-based cause list.
The SC has decided to launch the lottery-based cause list from December 1.
NBA General Secretary Lilamani Paudel said they welcomed the amendment made to the SC regulation as it had fulfilled one of NBA's old demands.
NBA officials told the dissident justices that lawyers would resume pleading in other benches after the lottery-based cause list was prepared, but they would not plead in Rana's bench or any bench that Rana shared.
The SC has also decided that cases listed for continued hearing or cases on which the justices have reserved their verdicts, will also be assigned to new benches as per the lottery-based cause list.
NBA officials warned dissident justices not to share the bench with CJ Rana. "We want SC benches sans Chief Justice Rana. CJ Rana should not exercise any administrative or judicial power," Paudel said. He said NBA officials also told dissident justices to make provisions for amendment to the High Court Regulations and District Court Regulations so that lottery-based cause list could be implemented in the high courts and district courts.
NBA President Chandeshwor Shrestha said the lawyers' umbrella body would continue its protest against the CJ until he resigned from his post. He said CJ Rana should not lead or represent any constitutional body such as the Constitutional Council, Judicial Council and Judicial Service Commission. "As long as CJ Rana plays a role in appointment and transfer of judges, anomalies will continue to dog the judiciary," he said and added that CJ Rana's statement that he had proposed nominees in the Constitutional Council was against the spirit of the constitution.
"The chief justice is supposed to check whether or not the recommendation made by the council is in accordance with the constitution and law, but the CJ admitted that he shared the spoils of appointment. This is wrong," Shrestha said. While the chief justice presides over the JC and JSC, he serves as an ex-officio member of the Constitutional Council.
Protesting lawyers have accused the CJ of seeking a quid pro quo deal with the executive and seeking the spoils of political appointments. An SC Source, however, said that the lottery-based cause list was a graceful exit for the protesting justices who had been protesting for almost a month.
"Now we will have to see what the dissident Justices think of compensating the case parties who were deprived of justice on time due to the dissident Justices' protest," the source added. The source said that it was yet not known how the CJ would react to the decisions of the dissident justices.
Meanwhile, Nepal Bar Association and dissident justices of the Supreme Court continued to protest against Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today.
Protesting lawyers staged a sit in at the main entrance of the apex court and also marched from the NBA building to Baluwatar to draw the attention of the government and the public.
Dissident Justices heard only the habeas corpus writ petitions, petition seeking withdrawal of cases and cases that needed to be kept pending. The NBA and dissident justices have south CJ Rana's resignation accusing him of seeking to get his brother-in-law appointed in the Sher Bahadur Deuba Cabinet and delaying hearings of cases field against the appointments made in constitutional bodies.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.