KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 18
Nine lawyers, including President of the Nepal Bar Association Chandeshwor Shrestha and NBA Central Committee member Prakash Maharjan, were injured today when police used force against the protesting lawyers who were staging a sit-in at the main entrance of the Supreme Court.
While Shrestha suffered minor injuries, Maharjan was hit in the head and is undergoing treatment at a hospital, according to a press release issued by the NBA.
Senior Advocate Sabita Bhandari Baral, Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association Rishiram Ghimire, advocates Kapilchandra Ghimire, Yubaraj Banjade, Nitesh Shrestha, Raman Lal Karna, and Gopal Sapkota were also injured in police action.
NBA condemned the use of force by security personnel and urged the national and international human rights organisations to monitor its protests. It urged the home ministry and the court administration to remove riot police from the court premises. The NBA said home administration, the chief justice, and the court administration would be responsible if protesting lawyers were attacked by middlemen or vigilantes.
The NBA said its agitation would not end until Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana resigned from his post.
Meanwhile, the full court of the SC met today and condemned the use of force against lawyers. An SC justice told THT that the meeting passed a regulation to prepare the cause list on the basis of lottery system. A procedure directive was also passed by the full court meeting. The justice said dates for lottery system-based cause list would be prepared by another full court meeting after Nepal Gazette publishes the regulation passed today.
The justice said although it was not mentioned in the regulation passed today, 18 justices informally agreed that they would not share the bench with the CJ if he drew the lottery once the lottery-based cause list came into operation.
The justice said justices would hear habeas corpus writ petitions until the launch of the lottery-based cause list system. The dissident justices also decided today they would hear the case of reconciliation and those petitions that seek to withdraw cases from the court.
Earlier, protesting lawyers chanted angry slogans against the chief justice for colluding with the Ministry of Home Affairs to deploy police to suppress a peaceful agitation of lawyers.
Senior Advocate and former president of NBA Harihar Dahal addressed a corner meeting of protesting lawyers and urged them to protest against the home administration for using force against them. He demanded that the home minister immediately withdraw police personnel from the court premises.
Dissident justices of the SC and the Nepal Bar Association, who have accused CJ Rana of seeking to appoint his brother-in-law a minister in the Sher Bahadur Deuba Cabinet and delaying hearing of cases filed against appointments made to the constitutional bodies, continued to protest against Rana.
Dissident justices and NBA have sought Rana's resignation, but the CJ has refused to step down.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.