The Supreme Court on Friday started hearing a writ petition filed against the decision of the Parliament Secretariat to invalidate the impeachment motion against suspended Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana.
A constitutional bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki that comprises Justices Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha, Ishwar Khatiwada, Aananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Sinha began hearing the litigation filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Purnaman Shakya, Vice President Mukunda Prasad Paudel, Secretary Rishiram Ghimire, Treasurer Vinod Kumar Karki and members Bikash Bhattarai, Ananta Raj Luitel, Deep Narayan Sah, Amita Gautam and Ramhari Tripathi had moved the apex court challenging the decision of the Parliament Secretariat on Wednesday.
The petitioners have demanded the apex court annuls the decision.
Based on an application from Rana, general secretary of the House of Representatives, Bharat Raj Gautam on Wednesday wrote to the President’s Office, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Court and the Judicial Council—informing them that the motion registered on February 13 had become ineffective with the election of a new House of Representatives.
Rana on Tuesday had written to the Parliament Secretariat requesting it to inform the authorities concerned to allow him to resume his work, stating that the impeachment motion registered in the previous House had become ineffective with the election of a new House. Rana has cited Articles 89 (c), 91 (6) and 111 (1o) of the Constitution of Nepal. Article 89 (c) says the tenure of the lawmakers expires with the conclusion of the term of the lower house, while 91 (6a) says the term of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker expires a day before candidacy filing for the elections.
As per Article 111 (10), in case the House of Representatives is dissolved or its term expires when a bill introduced in the House is under its consideration or when a bill adopted by the House is under consideration in the National Assembly, such a bill lapses.
Rana is preparing to return to the Supreme Court to resume his duties after receiving the letter from the Parliament Secretariat. He has been suspended for the past nine months following the registration of the impeachment motion against him in the former parliament.
Lawyers associated with the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) blocked all court entrances on Wednesday after CJ Rana prepared to return to the apex court to resume his duties. Security has been beefed up around the area to prevent any untoward incidents and the main entrance has been closed.
The scene was peaceful on Thursday due to a public holiday.
The umbrella organisation of the legal practitioners, which had discontinued its protest after an impeachment motion was filed against the chief justice, is up in arms again over his plan to return to the court.
Earlier on Wednesday, an emergency meeting of the NBA had termed the Parliament Secretariat’s decision to invalidate the motion unconstitutional. The NBA has also demanded action against Gautam and decided to continue blocking the Supreme Court entrance every day to stop Rana’s entry. Rana retires on Tuesday on the ground of age.
The NBA has also demanded action against Gautam and decided to continue blocking the Supreme Court entrance every day to stop Rana’s entry. Rana retires on Tuesday on the ground of age.