CJ nomination process starts tomorrow

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2014-

The Constitutional Council (CC) is set to convene a meeting on Friday to pick the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and make crucial recommendations to other constitutional bodies.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will head the meeting of the statutory body responsible for making recommendations to the constitutional bodies.

According to a government minister, the meeting will also make some crucial recommendations in other constitutional bodies such as Public Service Commission (PSC), Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and National Human Rights Commission. This is the second meeting of the CC to be held under the leadership of Koirala-led government.

Incumbent Chief Justice Damodar Sharma is set to retire on October 11, which makes it urgent to find his replacement in the top judicial post, said the minister, requesting anonymity.

A meeting of Judicial Council (JC) has already forwarded the names of four senior Supreme Court judges to the CC for nomination. According to sources, the JC has recommended the names of Ram Kumar Shah, Kalyan Shrestha, Girish Chandra Lal and Sushila Karki.

After recommendation from the CC, the approved names will be forwarded to the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee for vetting and subsequent approval.

Thereafter, the President will appoint the chiefs and members of the constitutional bodies as per the Interim Constitution. All five posts of the NHRC, including chairperson, have been vacant since September, while two members of the PSC are yet to be appointed.

Similarly, at least three seats of commissioners remains to be filled at the CIAA.Contrary to the provision to appoint five commissioners, including a chief commissioner, the anti-graft body is currently working with only two commissioners.

 The CIAA is lobbying for appointing more commissioners to establish five regional offices across the country and expand jurisdictions.

PM chairs the CC meeting while Speaker, CJ, leader of the opposition party, and three Ministers so designated by the Prime Minister as to have representation of different political parties besides the political parties having representation in the Council of Ministers  are the members at the CC. But while making recommendation for appointment to the top judicial post in the event of the post remaining vacant, the CC includes the Justice Minister as its member. The CC has already maintained a roster for vacant positions in various constitutional bodies by calling a public advertisement on April 5. Several top ex-bureaucrats, senior security officials have applied in the various vacant positions, said an official at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Published: 11-09-2014 08:59

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