Chief justice dodges agitating lawyers to enter officeNepal Bar protesting against Rana in front of the Supreme Court. Minor scuffle after some activists chanted slogans against protestors.
Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana on Friday managed to dodge agitating lawyers, who were protesting in front of the main gate of the Supreme Court, to reach his office.
As part of their intensified protest, the Nepal Bar Association, the umbrella organization of lawyers, on Thursday decided to stop Rana from entering the Supreme Court.
“There are two gates to enter the Supreme Court. Rana entered using the one which was not in use,” said Lilamani Poudel, general secretary of the Nepal Bar Association. “But our protests will continue.”
Court officials, however, said the chief justice entered through Gate No. 1, which is used by him only.
“The chief justice entered through Gate 1 and there was no obstruction,” said Kishwor Paudel, communication expert at the Supreme Court.
Lawyers as well as Rana’s colleague’s in the Supreme Court have been demanding his resignation, saying the chief justice is the source of all ills in the judiciary, including corruption.
As many as 19 justices have not heard a single case for the past three weeks except for habeas corpus petitions to put pressure on the chief justice to resign.
The chief justice can be removed only if an impeachment motion is passed from Parliament. Nepali political parties, however, have not shown any interest in filing an impeachment motion against Rana.
Earlier in the morning, lawyers started gathering in front of the Supreme Court at Ram Shah Path to block Rana’s entry into his office.
Security personnel in large numbers were deployed.
Police detained at least four persons who were chanting slogans against agitating lawyers and in favor of the chief justice.
“There were four women activists who were chanting slogans in favour of the chief justice. After the protesting lawyers tried to attack them, police took them away,” said Chandra Guragain, one of the protesting lawyers.
Despite justices saying they won't hear any cases except habeas corpus petitions, Rana since Tuesday has been assigning cases to them, creating moral pressure on them.
After preparing a cause list of 298 cases and 177 cases on Tuesday and Thursday, Rana on Friday assigned 223 cases to different justices.
He has not kept any case under his bench though.
The Nepal Bar Association has decided not to participate in hearings of even habeas corpus petitions from Friday to protest against use of police force on them on Thursday.
As many as six lawyers were injured when security personnel tried to stop agitating lawyers from holding a protest on the Supreme Court premises.