Hearing panel’s verdict due today

  • Chief justice nominee Joshee’s fate hangs in the balance
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jul 30, 2018-

Three days after the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee quizzed chief justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee, the acting CJ’s endorsement to head the judiciary seems uncertain with a majority of panel members “unhappy” at the candidate’s response to their questions.

Having been postponed twice, a PHSC meeting on Monday is expected to make public its decision on Joshee’s nomination.

“The chief justice nominee impressed none of the 15 members of the hearing committee and we are preparing to break the tradition on Monday,” claimed a lawmaker from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

The committee members are said to be confused about the imminent decision though most of them have responded negatively to the “unsatisfactory” response of Joshee to their queries and the controversy surrounding his academic certificates.

Another member representing the NCP claimed that they were waiting for the party’s signal, which could come by Monday morning as three top leaders of the ruling NCP and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal discussed the issue on Sunday.

“Whatever decision we take will be unanimous of the 15 members,” said PHSC member Suman Pyakurel, adding that they might not go against the public criticism of the hearing process.

Hinting at a decision unpleasant for Joshee, Pyakurel said the PHSC might go for an unconventional call. He also claimed that the party leadership has urged the PHSC to take an independent decision. Joshee’s hesitation to give concrete answers to any of the questions has irked panellists. He neither bothered to respond to the “controversial” ruling his bench made, nor did he assure that there would be no intervention by the judiciary in the government’s moves in the future.

Cross-party lawmakers had quizzed him on multiple issues for around two-and-a-half hours but Joshee took hardly 15 minutes to answer them. On June 12, the Constitutional Council decided to recommend Acting Chief Justice Joshee for the vacant post. The top judiciary seat has remained vacant since Gopal Prasad Parajuli resigned on March 15. Joshee has been leading the top court as the acting CJ since.

Published: 30-07-2018 07:48

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