SC upholds action against former Lalitpur judge

Kathmandu, January 31:

The Supreme Court today upheld the authority of the Judicial Council to take action against judges on charge of misconduct or on any other ground as per the Constitution. The chief Justice remains the head of the Judicial Council.

Approving a four-year-old recommendation of the Judicial Council, a division bench comprising Justices Balram KC and Tahir Ali Ansari upheld the action against the then Lalitpur District Court judge Gopal Prasad Guragain. Challenging the Judicial Council’s recommendation to the King, Guragain had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court. The King has already approved the Council’s recommendation to sack Guragain.

A one-member panel constituted by the Judicial Council to investigate into bribery charges against Guragainrecommended had recommended his sacking. The Judicial Council has been exercising the power to take action against judges on grounds of incompetence or misbehaviouras per Article 91(3) of the Constitution.

The bench today said there were no procedural errors while sacking the former judge on charges of incompetence and there was no need to issue a writ to the Judicial Council.

The Judicial Council had recommended action against Guragain after he received Rs 195,000 as bribe from a government attorney, Lekhnath Paudel. Gurugain claims it is injustice to sack him as the government attorney had send the bribe to his home without his consent seeking his favour in a sub-judice criminal case.

While the Judicial Commission had sacked government attorney Lekhnath Poudel, the Judicial Council had began action against Guragain.