Joshee will not be assigned benches: Chief Justice RanaNewly appointed Chief Justice Cholendra Sumsher Rana has announced that he would not assign Supreme Court benches to senior-most Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who was rejected as the chief of judiciary by the parliamentary committee five months ago.
Newly appointed Chief Justice Cholendra Sumsher Rana has announced that he would not assign Supreme Court benches to senior-most Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who was rejected as the chief of judiciary by the parliamentary committee five months ago.
After taking charge of the apex court after taking oath from President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday, Rana said the decision to bar Joshee from daily assignment is a respect to the decision of the Parliamentary Hearing Committee.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Nepal Communist Party lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai had said continuation of Joshee in the apex court was an attack on the parliamentary supremacy.
He had asked Rana what steps he would take as head of the judiciary to respect the decision of the House committee. In response, Rana said everyone should respect the parliamentary committee’s dicision, hinting that he would not assign any responsibilities to Joshee.
The parliamentary hearing committee on August 3 had rejected the nomination of Joshee to the chief justice post through a majority voting. After taking a month-long leave, Joshee started regular hearings from October. The outgoing Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra, who was reluctant initially to assign benches to Joshee, started assigning him with the controversial cases, including those related to big business houses.
Speaking to the press after assuming office, Rana said, “I had given words to the House committee to respect its decision. I haven’t allocated benches to him [Joshee] on Wednesday nor will I in the days to come. I urge my dear friend to disengage from the court.” The authority to fix the benches is solely vested in the chief justice. While all other justices were present during the interaction with the media and the oath-taking ceremony held at Sheetal Niwas, Joshee did not turn up on both the occasions.
Joshee, if denies resignation or does not face impeachment, can continue as the senior-most justice unless he retires by age in October.
However, CJ Rana’s decision has left him with two options: either to resign or come to the court for attendance with no works.
During the interaction, Rana said he will not take any steps that tarnishes the image of the judiciary. He also committed to zero tolerance against corruption, transparency in fixing the benches and making the role of Judicial Council more effective. The council has failed to convene its meeting for months as Law Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal is reluctant to attend the meeting in the presence of Joshee. As the senior-most justice, Joshee is an ex-officio member on the council.