Kathmandu, August 19
Pokhara High Court Judge Jiwan Hari Adhikari, who was being probed by the Judicial Council for issuing orders beyond his jurisdiction, has resigned from his post.
Adhikari tendered his resignation to Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana. Judicial Council Information Officer Teknath Gautam said the Supreme Court informed his office that Adhikari had resigned from his post.
In the last week of July, the JC had formed a committee under SC Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla to investigate alleged wrongdoing by three Pokhara High Court judges — Adhikari, Nara Bahadur Shahi and Ramchandra Yadav — for passing orders in a case filed by Gorkha Brewery, which the SC said was not under their jurisdiction.
A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana had, on July 24, ordered the JC to take action against Adhikari, Shahi and Yadav for acting beyond their jurisdiction.
Adhikari told THT that he decided to quit as he had faced allegation of wrongdoing for the first time in his judicial career of 42 years. “I had only three to four months to serve, so I decided to quit rather than face humiliation,” he added. He said he had told the probe committee why he had passed the order in the case in question.
Adhikari, Shahi and Yadav were transferred to the Judicial Council on deputation about a week ago in the face of the controversy. Whenever JC takes action against any judge, they are summoned to the JC till investigation against them is completed.
As far as the case against the three Pokhara High Court judges is concerned, on July 24, the SC had also stayed the interim order passed by the single and division benches of Pokhara High Court that had stayed Bharatpur Inland Revenue Office’s decision to impose excise duty on the company.
The JC had told the probe committee formed under Malla to submit its report within 15 days.
A single bench of Pokhara High Court Judge 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 in Province 3 or its Hetauda bench, but it filed the case at Pokhara High Court, which falls under Gandaki Province.
A version of this article appears in print on August 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.