Brihat Nagarik Andolan calls on parties to move impeachment motion against chief justicePressure has mounted on Rana from justices and lawyers to step down.
Brihat Nagarik Andolan, a civil society movement with people from various walks of life, has called on Nepal’s political parties to move an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana.
Issuing a statement on Wednesday, the Andolan said Chief Justice Rana’s judicial deviation has given rise to the current crisis in the judiciary and eroded public’s faith in the judiciary.
“Rana dismissing the report by a study panel led by a Supreme Court justice that had pointed out corruption in the apex court and recommendations to introduce an automated system for designating benches shows the lack of seriousness on the part or the leader of the judiciary,” reads the statement.
A study panel led by Justice Hari Krishna Karki had pointed out corruption in the Supreme Court and suggested an automated system for designating benches.
The Andolan has also called on parties to internalise the need to amend the constitution to review the composition of the Constitutional Council and the Judicial Council to ensure transparency in the appointments of justices.
The Judicial Council recommends the judges while the Constitutional Council recommends the chief justice.
A senior-most justice, an advocate each picked by the government and Nepal Bar Association and minister for law and justice were included as members in the Judicial Council led by the chief justice in the 2007 constitution by slightly changing the composition from the 1990 constitution.
The same composition got continuity when the new constitution was adopted in 2015.
The Constitutional Council is led by the prime minister with chief justice, Speaker, National Assembly chair, deputy Speaker and the leader of the opposition as members.
Rana was appointed chief justice on January 2, 2019 as per the recommendation of the Constitutional Council made on December 13, 2018. The council was then led by KP Sharma Oli.
Rana has come under fire over a series of controversies. As many as 15 justices have demanded that he “clear the way” to save the judiciary from falling into further crisis. Similarly, Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association too have said Rana must resign. Though Supreme Court justices have not taken a formal stand to boycott the benches, hearings have been affected for the last three days. Nepal Bar has announced protests across the country to pile pressure on Rana to resign.
Rana, however, has refused to budge. He told justices on Tuesday that he would rather face an impeachment motion than resign just because some people are demanding so.
The Andolan has called on all concerned parties to make efforts for reforms in the judiciary to restore people’s faith in the judicial system.
“Political parties should decide on the criteria for endorsement of justices through parliamentary hearing and stop appointing justices based on party lines,” reads the statement. “They should make their stand clear with this regard.”