Withdraw impeachment motion against Karki: ICJ

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 3, 2017-

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has called on the Government of Nepal and ruling parties to withdraw the impeachment motion filed against Chief Justice Sushila Karki to ensure judicial independence and appropriate separation of powers. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the ICJ said the move threatens the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

“This impeachment motion, the first against a sitting Chief Justice in Nepal’s history, raises very serious concerns about the independence of Nepal’s Supreme Court and the separation of powers in the country,” Matt Pollard, head of the ICJ’s Center for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, said in the statement.

The impeachment motion comes in the wake of the decision of the full bench of the Supreme Court, chaired by CJ Karki, to revoke the Cabinet’s February 12 decision to appoint a new Inspector General of Nepal Police evidently in violation of existing processes and regulations.

Two ruling parties--the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre)--registered the motion at the Parliament Secretariat on Sunday.

CJ Karki is scheduled to retire on June 7 when she reaches the mandatory retirement age.

“The timing of the impeachment action, so close to the chief justice’s scheduled retirement, gives credence to suspicions that it is aimed at preventing her participation in judicial activity during the next few weeks,” Pollard said. 

Noting that CJ Karki was immediately suspended after the registration of the motion, Pollard added that the article does not comply with international standards on the independence of the judiciary as the ICJ had pointed out repeatedly in its analysis of the constitution draft. “This recent motion starkly demonstrates the problems with the constitutional provision,” he added.

Stating that Nepal’s judiciary has been instrumental in protecting human rights, rule of law and enforcement of the Nepal’s obligation under international law, Pollard said the Nepali judiciary as an institution has strengthened and has gained international respect for its independence and should be celebrated and strengthened, instead of being subject to this kind of legislative attack.

Published: 03-05-2017 07:35

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