PHC indecisive on Joshee’s nomination

Kathmandu, August 1

The Public Hearing Committee once again failed to confirm or reject Chief Justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee today due to differences between the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress.

NCP (NCP) and the NC blamed each other for the panel’s indecision.

The panel decided to hold another meeting at 10:00am on Friday. Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna, who chaired the meeting, said the panel would possibly take a call on Friday.

Lawmaker Suman Raj Pyakurel, who represents the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in the 15-member panel said his party lawmakers proposed to discuss complaints lodged against CJ nominee Joshee and his responses to those complaints, but NC lawmakers refused to open the debate.

“NC lawmakers know if point-wise discussion is held in the panel, Joshee will not meet the criteria for confirmation,” Pyakurel said, “When we told the NC members that if consensus was not reached then the issue should be put to vote then the NC lawmakers threatened to walk out of the meeting and also to resign from the panel.”

This allegation was however refuted by NC lawmaker Pushpa Bhusal. “We have not said that we will walk out or resign from the panel. Can they show a recording of such a statement?” Bhusal said and added that NC lawmakers of the panel wanted comprehensive discussion on the issues on the basis of evidence and facts.

Pyakurel accused NC lawmakers of not wanting to give an outlet to the issue as per constitutional provisions. The PHC should be free to confirm or reject Joshee, he said.

Pyakurel also accused the NC of creating problems for the NCP (NCP) government by first supporting Dr Govinda KC and now supporting Joshee. He said if the NC continued to create obstacles against the NCP (NCP) government, his party, which has formed government in the centre and six provinces and which controls almost 75 per cent local governments, could also bring people to the street against the NC.

Bhusal said her party lawmakers wanted to discuss the issue first and then take a call in the second phase. She said today’s meeting was delayed because of the ruling parties’ lawmakers.

“Since the meeting started a bit late, we did not have time to discuss the issues and therefore, we decided to defer the meeting with the objective of making efforts to reach consensus on the issue,” she added.

Meanwhile, CJ nominee Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee today met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the details of their conversation were not revealed by either side.