29 complaints filed against acting chief justice KarkiThe complainants have claimed that as Karki has failed to maintain the dignity of the position as the acting chief justice, he shouldn’t be appointed the chief of the judiciary.
Over two dozen complaints have been lodged against chief justice nominee Hari Krishna Karki arguing that he does not qualify to head the judiciary.
The Constitutional Council on May 8 nominated Karki, the senior most justice at the Supreme Court, for the chief justice role and forwarded his name to the Parliamentary Hearing Committee. On May 30, the committee had invited complaints against Karki. The hearing committee has received 29 complaints as the deadline ended on Friday.
“We have received complaints against the proposed chief justice from a sitting district judge, advocates and human right activists, among others,” Nirmala Devi Lamichhane, a joint-secretary on the committee, told the Post. “The committee’s meeting on Monday will study the complaints and plan the hearing.”
The complainants, according to the committee members, have claimed that as Karki has failed to maintain the dignity of the position as the acting chief justice, he shouldn’t be appointed the chief of the judiciary. They also argue that appointing Karki as the chief justice would only result in a waste of state resources. The retirement benefits for the chief justice are higher than those provided to other justices.
Mahesh Bartaula, a CPN-UML member, said the committee will first study the complaints and then ask the complainants to justify their allegations. “Those who have lodged the complaints will get a chance to substantiate their allegations with proof,” he told the Post. “The chief justice nominee will be asked to clarify the complaints while the lawmakers will also have their own questions.”
All the complainers will get different time slots to provide proof to back their allegations. Just one among the 29 complainers remains anonymous.
Karki was appointed the acting chief justice on October 5 last year. The Supreme Court has been headless after Cholendra Shumsher Rana faced an impeachment motion in the second week of February last year. Rana retired as the chief justice on December 13 without Parliament deciding on the motion. Senior most justice Deepak Kumar Karki then led the judiciary as acting chief justice for seven months.
Article 292 of the constitution requires the chief justice, justices, and those nominated to constitutional commissions and ambassadorial posts to pass parliamentary hearing before they take the oath of the positions. President Ramchandra Paudel will appoint Karki as the chief justice if he gets through the hearing process.
Only a two-thirds majority of the 15-member committee can reject the nomination.