PHC hearing for CJ nominee Rana tomorrow

Kathmandu, December 28

The Parliamentary Hearing Committee has decided to conduct hearing for chief justice nominee Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana at 2:00pm on Sunday.

PHC Chairperson Laxman Lal Karna said that the panel decided to conduct hearing for chief justice on Sunday after it heard arguments of nine complainants, who had lodged complaints against Rana.

If confirmed,  Rana will assume the charge of chief justice on January 1 when the incumbent CJ Om Prakash Mishra retires on age ground.

Jafrul Hussain Ansari, a social activist of Parsa district, said that a bench comprising Rana had decided to register a public pond spread in four bigaha land in Birgunj Metropolis -2, near Chhapkaiya,    in the name of Pramod Bikram Shah. Ansari said the pond was a public land which Shah had fraudulently registered in his name in 1992 when Land Surveyors Office surveyed the area.

Ansari said Rana, who is related to Shah, overturned the decisions of district and appellate courts.

One complainant, who did not want to be quoted, said he had raised the issue of the Supreme Court verdict that raised question of efficiency of Rana and other two judges of the Special Court that acquitted former minister Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta.

A division bench of justices Sushila Karki and Tarka Raj Bhatta overturned Gupta’s acquittal verdict saying the judges of the Supreme Court intentionally gave advantage to the defendant. “The Supreme Court had told the Judicial Council to take action against Rana and two other judges. I want to know what action the Judicial Council has taken so far,” he said.

Gajendra Thapa said he sought disqualification of Rana for chief justice as he exceeded his brief and violated norms when he boycotted the grand full bench formed to hear a contempt of court case on March 13. “This was a bizarre case of violation of norms.  How can a judge violate hierarchy and enter the bench without letting the seniors enter the hall first,” he wondered.

Madhav Paudel said he lodged a complaint at the PHC saying that Rana’s decision to validate former king Gyanendra’s decision to gift 15 ropani land in Chhauni to his daughter Prerana Rajya Laxmi Devi Singh was wrong.

He said he feared that Rana may again overturn the verdict of a full bench. Justice Rana was one member of a division bench that had decided that 15 ropani land gifted by former king Gyanendra to Singh was her property and that it should not be nationalised. This decision was, however, later overturned by a full bench of the Supreme Court.

When asked to comment on the complaints lodged against him, Justice Rana said, “I do not want to speak on these things over phone. I will talk to you on these issues when the hearing process is over.”