Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha nominated for chief justiceShrestha will have 14 months to lead the judiciary before he retires.
The Constitutional Council has finally nominated Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha, the senior most justice at the Supreme Court, as the chief justice.
A meeting of the council decided to pick Shrestha as the chief justice candidate just two days before his predecessor Hari Krishna Karki takes a mandatory retirement due to age. Karki retires on Saturday after reaching 65 years of age.
The council’s meeting on Tuesday had failed to make the nomination after CPN-UML chair KP Sharma Oli, who is a council member in the capacity of the leader of the opposition, demanded candidates for other constitutional bodies are also selected along with the chief justice candidate.
“The decision [to nominate Shrestha] was taken unanimously after a healthy discussion,” Indira Rana, deputy Speaker, told the Post. “The council has also decided to call aspirants to apply for other constitutional positions.”
The position of auditor general, an election commissioner, a member each at the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission and Muslim Commission are lying vacant. Rana said applications with a 15-day deadline will be called for the remaining position.
Though the Constitution of Nepal has a mandatory provision to pick a nominee for the chief justice a month before the position becomes vacant, the council failed to perform its job following the reluctance of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chair of the council, to call its meeting on time. Shrestha’s nomination needs to be endorsed by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee. He will lead the judiciary as an acting chief justice until he gets an appointment from the President.
Born on October 6, 1959 in Doti, Shrestha will have 14 months to lead the judiciary before he retires on October 5 next year. He entered government service as a section officer on April 9, 1982 and became the Supreme Court Justice on August 1, 2016.