SC justices split over CJ Parajuli’s judicial conduct

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 8, 2018-Opinions of 20-member Supreme Court justices are divided over the judicial conduct of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli who is attempting to rally justices’ unanimous support as pressure mounts against him and his contentious stance that there is no difference between the SC as an institution and him as individual.

These differences have come to the fore recently as media reports exposed his multiple birth certificates and academic qualifications. Kantipur daily published a series of news reports questioning the authenticity of his multiple birth certificates and academic certificates.

We have raised serious questions about his working style, said one SC justice who refused to be named. We plan to put pressure on him and strip him  from judicial work amid the many controversies that he is currently embroiled in, he said.“Due to the CJ’s personal issues, the entire court is defamed and going to be destroyed. It would be  good for him if he detaches from the judicial work. It would be better for the institution.”

Several national and international bodies have condemned and expressed 

concern over the summoning of Kantipur’s Publishers, Chief Editor and reporters by the CJ over the “contempt of court”.

Instead of probing against the allegation, the SC after recording the statements of top Kantipur executives has sent the case to the full bench for hearing.

They alleged that Parajuli runs the institution as his own though he is just a leader of the judiciary. He is only a leader, but he is running the SC as per his whims and fancies and delivers verdicts contravening judicial values and ethos. When opposed, he takes personal vendetta against the media and his colleagues, the judges said. “He even telephoned lawyers who advocated cases against him and threatened to take their life. We fear we are being beheaded,” another justice said.

Advocate Surendra Bhandari had recently complained with evidence that he was threatened by Parajuli and police is looking into the case. Some of Parajuli’s interim orders related to releasing revenue have hugely benefited businessmen and the state is losing huge revenue, justices said, such misinterpretation of interim order has taken a toll in economy.

SC justices are divided on the contempt of court registered against Kantipur daily. Several top lawyers and advocates have publicly written that there should be a clear definition about what defamation is and what personal case should be.   

“On various informal occasions, we told him not to act like this, but forget correcting himself, he did not hear us,” another SC justice said.

Judiciary is not the place where you launch vendetta against your opponents, he said. Parajuli has delivered several orders based on sentiments or personal bias that do not conform to any judicial principle or as per jurisprudence. “The issues raised by the media are Parajuli’s personal. These should not be seen as institutional issue,” the justices said, revealing opinions expressed inside the judicial fraternity vis-a-vis the Kantipur case.

CJ Parajuli was defensive when the case of advocate Bhandari was discussed and tried to seek our help. “But it was  beyond our capacity and we opposed it. Then he should know that he is not only defamed within entire judicial fraternity, but among his colleagues too. Nothing stops him. He is still delivering orders on the basis of personal vendetta and prejudices which is not helpful to such a judge with high stature,” one judge said.

Published: 08-03-2018 07:34

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