Hearing on Karki case to continue today

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 6, 2017-

The hearing on the case against suspended chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Lokman Singh Karki has been adjourned until Friday as the defence lawyers could not complete their argument on Thursday. 

During the hearing by a full bench of Justices Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Singh on Thursday, all four defence lawyers of Karki limited their argument to two issues: ‘high moral character’ and ‘review of the Supreme Court’s own verdict’. 

Karki was appointed as the CIAA chief in May 2013 as per the recommendation of the Constitutional Council which had approved his name based on a deal among the major political forces. Karki was appointed CIAA chief in May 2013.

Petitioner Om Prakash Aryal in the writ has claimed that “the entire appointment process is unlawful as Karki’s tenure in government service falls short of what has been provisioned in the constitution and he does not hold high moral character to lead the anti-graft body as enshrined in the constitution”.

The defence lawyers did not enter the tenure of Karki in government service, except for Senior Advocate Sushil Pant who argued that a 

study leave, as per the Judiciary Administration Act, is also counted in the service. 

The plaintiffs had presented the fact that Karki was on a study leave for almost two years and was suspended for three months after the second people’s movement. 

As per the constitutional provision, a minimum of 20 years of government service is required for a person to hold a constitutional post like the chief commissioner of the anti-graft body. 

The plaintiffs have claimed that Karki’s tenure in government service fell short by seven years as his appointment through “royal edict”--which exempted him from required qualification--should not be counted as service years. Karki was later appointed under Public Service Commission only after six years. 

The defendants, however, argued that the Rayamajhi Commission was not a judicial commission and thus has no authority to convict anyone. “Only a judicial body has authority to prove the guilt of an accused,” said Panta. “The guilt should be proven, which is not the case with other recommendations made by the Krishna Jung Rayamajh-led commission.”

The commission, formed after the 2006 people’s movement, had also indicted Karki for his involvement in suppressing the movement in the capacity of chief secretary. 

The defendants brought up the case of chief of Armed Police Force Durja Kumar Rai, who was also alleged of shooting at unarmed protesters, during the popular movement. They argued there should not be double standard for high moral character. 

On Friday, the court will hear plaintiffs’ responses to issues raised by defendants.

Published: 06-01-2017 09:29

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