Chief Justice Rana calls on legal professionals for dialogueNepal Bar rejects invitation, says won’t agree on less than Rana’s resignation.
Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana has called on dissenting legal professionals to resolve the current stalemate in the judiciary through dialogue.
Issuing a press statement on Monday, Rana has invited both the Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association for talks.
The statement followed the Nepal Bar’s strong position that it won’t agree on less than Rana’s resignation.
For the last three weeks, legal practitioners and Supreme Court justices have been demanding that Rana must step down to extricate the judiciary from the crisis. The protesters have argued that Chief Justice Rana is the source of all the anomalies in the Supreme Court.
Rana, however, has maintained that since he was appointed through a constitutional process, he could be removed only through a constitutional means, which is impeachment.
Political parties, however, have not made any move towards impeaching Rana.
The call for dialogue from Rana comes amid increasing pressure on justices not to avoid benches, as the public has been deprived of their right to justice.
“Dialogue is the most appropriate way to resolve any deadlock. I appeal to the Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association to come for dialogue,” Rana said in the statement.
In his statement, Rana has said that he is committed to implementing the report and recommendations by Supreme Court Justice Hari Krishna Karki for judicial reforms.
He said that the bar and the bench are two wheels of the same chariot.
“Mutual relations and handshakes are necessary to move forward,” reads the statement.
The chief justice has said he is ready to begin from where dialogue and discussions were disrupted.
“We can explore possibilities for the solution from where the mutual understanding and closeness were disrupted,” states the statement. “I would like to appeal to everyone to opt the path of dialogue to settle the problems that have emerged in a family of the judiciary by firmly standing in favour of procedures.”
Earlier on Monday, members of the Nepa Bar gathered in front of the Supreme Court to protest against Rana. Like on Friday and Sunday, lawyers had plans to stop Rana from entering his office. However, Rana reached his office and issued the statement.
The Nepal Bar decided to ratchet up its protest after at least six lawyers protesting in front of the Supreme Court were hurt in a scuffle with police.
In his statement, Rana has also regretted the incident on Thursday.
Lawyers, however, have dismissed Rana’s call for dialogue.
“Mr chief justice, we read your statement. We want to respond to it right from this platform,” said Chandeshwor Shrestha, president of the Nepal Bar Association before ending Monday’s sit-in. “There won’t be any reforms in the judiciary by holding dialogue with you [Rana], so we are not going to sit for talks with you. Give a way out by resigning today.”