Hearing panel may put Joshee’s fate to vote

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 1, 2018-

With members of the Parliamentary Hearing Committee representing the ruling and opposition parties divided over the choice of chief justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee, chances of the panel taking a unanimous decision are slim.

Following the third postponement of its meeting on Monday, the joint parliamentary committee is expected to decide Joshee’s fate on Wednesday.

Though some panellists still claim that there will be a unanimous decision, others say consensus will be hard to reach given the divide between members representing the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the opposition Nepali Congress.

The NC was busy on Tuesday with its nationwide anti-government protests while its members on the panel stood against rejecting Joshee’s nomination. NC panellist Pushpa Bhusal said there was no fresh consultation within the party about Joshee’s candidacy even as the party had demanded more time for discussion.

NCP member Suman Pyakurel claimed that a decision would come out on Wednesday. “Our coordinator has already made it clear that the PHC will take a decision through a vote if consensus eludes,” he said.

In case of a vote, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal member Rajendra Shrestha will be a crucial player. In order to muster a two-thirds majority necessary for rejecting Joshee’s nomination, the committee needs Shrestha’s support. The 15-member panel has nine NCP members, four NC, and one each from the RJP-N and the SSF-N.

Sources claimed that Acting Chief Justice Joshee met several NCP leaders including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to express his concern, which Joshee’s aides deny.

The Nepal Bar Association has expressed its concern over the delay in deciding the SC candidate, arguing that deferred decisions could create legal and constitutional challenges while that would also mean that the government is trying to control the judiciary.

Published: 01-08-2018 07:29

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