Nine SC justices boycott bench over CJ controversy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 14, 2018-

Embattled Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli, who is under pressure from his own team of justices to either resign or detach himself from the judicial process, suffered yet another setback after eight justices boycotted the benches assigned to them on Tuesday.

CJ Parajuli, despite being in the thick of controversy over issuing a gag order on the media for bringing to public notice the discrepancies in his personal details and academic qualifications, has refused to listen to the counsel of the Supreme Court justices. His intransigence coupled with his now apparent chequered history has become a serious cause for concern for the justices at the country’s highest court.

While Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana boycotted a full bench that was hearing a court contempt case against Kantipur daily on Monday, eight other justices also followed suit by boycotting their assigned benches on Tuesday.

Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla, Justice Hari Krishna Karki, Justice Ishwari Prasad Khatiwada, Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai, Justice Deepak Raj Joshi, Justice Prakash Man Singh Raut, Justice Bishobhar Prasad Shrestha and Justice Anil Kumar Singha decided not to take charge of the benches assigned by CJ Parajuli. They are of the view that CJ Parajuli should either resign or stay out of court proceedings to protect the sanctity and prestige of judiciary.

The questions raised over the authenticity of his personal details and academic qualifications cannot just be shrugged off, say legal experts.

Senior Advocate Daman Nath Dhungana said CJ Parajuli must respect the opinions of his colleagues. “As a head of the judiciary, Parajuli must give a way out to the current deadlock in judiciary. He must think about the larger interest of the judiciary,” he said.

PM Oli meets CJ Parajuli

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday discussed with Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli the ongoing controversy over the activities of the judiciary.

The crisis involving the leadership of Supreme Court has threatened judicial processes with many justices refusing to work with CJ Parajuli.

Baluwatar sources claimed that PM Oli suggested to Parajuli to either put in his papers or go on leave. Some sources close to Parajuli claimed that he is considering going on leave anytime soon.

Following the debate over whether controversial CJ should administer oath of office to President Bidya Devi Bhandari after her re-election, leaders of ruling party have asked Parajuli to either resign or go on leave.

“It would be better for the person involved in a controversy to resign, but if he is not ready for that he can go on leave,” said UML leader Subas Nembang. “He is the head of Supreme Court and it is not good to continue in his regular job after being questioned,” he added.

Asked who would administer oath to President at 4 pm on Wednesday, personal secretary of President Bhandari Bhesh Raj Adhikary said the President would take oath from “whoever remains in office”.

Advocate Tikaram Bhattarai said the government and parties should find a way to safeguard the dignity of the President when moral questions are raised.

“This is a technical and moral issue. Technically who is in the position that person will be legal, but after moral questions are raised government should manage the oath-taking ceremony only after finding a proper solution to the problem,” he said. (PR)


Published: 14-03-2018 08:40

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