Karki can’t be impeached: Subpanel

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
The subcommittee though has concluded that the House cannot impeach Karki as he no longer holds the post, it has recommended that he can be booked for ‘other irregularities’ he committed as CIAA chief

Feb 2, 2017-A sub-committee formed under the Impeachment Recommendation Committee (IRC) of Parliament to investigate into charges against Lokman Singh Karki has concluded that the House “cannot” impeach a person who has already been dismissed from his post.

A January 8 ruling of the Supreme Court had declared Karki unfit for holding the post of the chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), thereby relieving him of his duties.

The three-member subcommittee comprising Ram Narayan Bidari of the CPN (Maoist Centre), Deepak Kuikel of the Nepali Congress and Rewati Raman Bhandari of the CPN-UML was tasked with investigating into charges levelled against Karki and preparing a report. 

In an impeachment motion filed by Maoist and UML lawmakers, Karki is charged with breaching the constitution, taking law into own hands, abusing authority to terrorise people, undermining Parliament by defying House panels’ summons and contempt of court.

The subcommittee though has concluded that the House cannot impeach Karki as he no longer holds the post, it has recommended that he can be booked for “other irregularities” he was involved in during his tenure as the head of the anti-corruption agency.  

The panel was formed on January 19 and given 15 days to investigate into charges against him. 

Earlier, the IRC had sought Attorney General Raman Kumar Shrestha’s advice whether an impeachment motion against a person dismissed from his post after a court order could be moved forward in Parliament. 

After AG Shrestha’s suggestion that the Supreme Court ruling “does not bar the House from taking the impeachment motion forward”, the subcommittee was asked to investigate into charges against Karki. 

Interestingly, Bidari was given the charge of leading the three-member subcommittee, as he, in capacity of a lawyer, had in 2013 defended Karki in the court, arguing that he was “eligible” to become the chief commissioner of the constitutional anti-graft body.

“It won’t be justifiable to impeach a person who has been already removed from the post,” said a member of the subcommittee. “However, several allegations against Karki have been proved, and he can be penalised as per the existing legal provisions.” 

According to the member, allegations that Karki spied on VVIPs, VIPs and high level government officials and leaders and misused Nepal Police and National Intelligence Department for spying have been proved right. 

The report of the subcommittee will now be presented to the IRC, most probably on Friday, for approval. 

The report then will be tabled in Parliament for consideration. The House, however, can reject the report and direct the IRC to recommend impeachment, according the subcommittee member. 

Published: 02-02-2017 08:03

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