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Joshee extends his leave by six days

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 19, 2018-

Supreme Court’s senior-most justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who was rejected by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) for the top judiciary position, on Sunday extended his leave by six more days. His 15-day leave ended today. Earlier on July 5, Joshee had availed 15 days leave after the PHC rejected his nomination with a two-thirds majority.

Asked if he would go to the Supreme Court (SC) from Sunday, Joshee said he had taken additional six days leave.

Article 129 (6) of the Constitution has the provision that the senior-most Justice of the Supreme Court will work as Acting Chief Justice (CJ) if the post of CJ becomes vacant.  In the absence of Joshee, Justice Om Prakash Mishra has been working as acting CJ including overseeing the daily cause-list.

Of the 19 justices, Joshee is the senior-most and will continue as the acting Chief Justice until another Chief Justice is appointed.   However, moral questions will be raised over him if he continues to remain in the post even after his rejection by the PHC.

Joshee caused a stir on Friday when he issued a statement on the enforcement of Civil Code. This forced the government to say Om Prakash Mishra is the official Acting Chief Justice.

Law Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal on Saturday said Mishra is the Acting Chief Justice of Supreme Court and the government does not recognise anyone who releases statement from their home. A source close to Joshee said he insists he will not resign despite most SC justices advising him to quit on moral grounds following the PHC decision.

“He may either consider continuing to remain on leave or opt to join office from Sunday,” said the source.

Chances of Joshee joining the apex court are slim as he wants to avoid confrontation. “He will avoid possible confrontation with the government and stay on the leave” said the source. Joshee has one more year as the justice of the SC.

Sources say Joshee will wait and watch until the Constitutional Council recommends another judge to head the judiciary. The Prime Minister-led Constitutional Council is yet to recommend the name of new Chief Justice to the PHC because of the absence of opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.

According to sources, after Deuba returns, the CC would recommend the senior-most justice between the two remaining justices recommended by the Judicial Council.

The Constitutional Council meeting scheduled on August 8 was postponed after Deuba requested Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to wait until his return from Singapore.

Published: 19-08-2018 12:25

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