Ruling MPs seek ‘word’ from Joshee before his pick

Kathmandu

Jul 29, 2018-

The ruling parties, which suspect that the judiciary is making unwarranted interventions in various decisions of the government, are looking for strong commitment from chief justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee for a change of tack before endorsing his pick from the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee.

The PHSC completed Joshee’s hearing on Thursday but as a departure from the practice of deciding on the nominee the same day, the panel is yet to reach a decision.

The Constitutional Council led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on June 12 recommended Joshee as the CJ. While also seeking clarification on the controversial decision his bench had made, lawmakers had asked why the Supreme Court intervened, through stay orders, in major decisions of the government.

They argue that road upgradation and land acquisition for major development works were affected by the court’s intervention. Ruling party lawmakers had even asked him for a roadmap of aiding the government’s vision of a prosperous Nepal. They said that the judiciary does not just look at literal justifications of laws but their spirit while issuing verdicts.

Joshee, however, did not hesitate to deny concrete answers to any of the questions. He did not go into the “controversial” ruling his bench made, nor did he assure there would not be judiciary’s intervention in government’s moves in future. “His presentation seemed as if an army general was briefing his personnel,” said Suman Pyakurel, a Nepal Communist Party member on the committee.

Cross-party lawmakers had quizzed him on multiple issues for around two-and-a-half hours but Joshee took hardly 15 minutes to answer.

Pyakurel said a majority of PHSC members were not pleased with Joshee’s “attitude”, which suggested that he took hearing as a ritual. They concluded it as an attack on the hearing process. An NCP leader said the issue of Joshee’s academic certificate seemed to be delaying his endorsement but the reason was his failure to convince ruling party MPs. Pyakurel said he personally felt that either PHSC Chair Laxman Lal Karna or a subcommittee of the hearing panel should talk to Joshee before he is passed for appointment.

Sources said the CJ nominee is already in informal talks with NCP leaders. Some PHSC members even met PM Oli and NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal for advice on the way forward. They were advised to seek Joshee’s commitment on the issues they were not happy with.

The committee is scheduled to meet on Sunday to decide Joshee’s fate. “We will take necessary decision after discussion on Sunday morning,” Karna told the Post.

Published: 29-07-2018 07:27

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