Senior most Justice Om Prakash Mishra has been appointed the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office to Mishra hours after the Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) unanimously endorsed his name for the position on Monday. Later in the day, he assumed office as the 28th chief justice.
The Constitutional Council had recommended him for the position on August 23, 2018. Mishra has been at the helm of the apex court since August 5 as the acting CJ after the PHC rejected the nomination of senior Justice Deepak Raj Joshee to head the court.
The hearing committee rejected Joshee’s recommendation, reasoning that he failed to give satisfactory answers to lawmakers’ questions about his academic credentials, controversial hearings and capability to lead the judiciary.
Despite the rejection, Joshee has not resigned from the position and is likely to continue working as the senior most justice under Mishra’s leadership. Joshee is currently on leave.
The PHC had received five complaints against Mishra. One of the complainants, however, withdrew his charge three days ahead of parliamentary hearing.
“Mishra’s recommendation was endorsed after evaluating his capability, experience and vision to lead the judiciary,” PHC coordinator Laxman Lal Karna told reporters after the decision.
Prior to the question-answer session, Mishra on Monday presented a 25-page action plan for the top judicial role. He promised measures for reforming the three-tier judiciary.
“In spite of my short tenure, I will make every effort to transform the judiciary. I will try my best to control corruption with effective monitoring,” he told the hearing committee.
Mishra, who was praised for his stern measures at the Special Court, was appointed a Supreme Court justice on May 27, 2014. He will retire on January 1 next year on age ground.
He claimed to have finalised 17,000 cases at different courts in his career with professional integrity. Rulings on citizenship in the name of mother and removal of hoarding boards were some of his remarkable verdicts.
Joshee set to join office today
KATHMANDU: In a rare practice, a senior justice is set to work under his one-time junior. Senior most Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who was rejected by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee for the top position, on Monday said he would join office from Tuesday.
“We are good friends. I have no problem working under him,” Joshee replied when asked if he would find it easy working with newly appointed Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra. “I welcomed him to the Supreme Court today,” he said.
Claiming to have done no wrong, Joshee refused to resign when the House panel rejected his name for the top judicial post last month. Following the rejection, many justices had advised Joshee to put in papers. Joshee has one whole year to retire while Chief Justice Mishra has four months to serve. (PR)