Mishra to take charge as Joshee files for SC leave

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Aug 5, 2018-

Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who was rejected for the top judiciary post by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee on Friday, has announced his plan to go on leave starting Sunday.

In his absence, Om Prakash Mishra, senior most Justice

at the apex court after Joshee, will prepare the cause list. Mishra was one of the three justices nominated by the Judicial Council for the top post.

SC press advisor Kishor Poudel said Joshee has applied to the President’s Office for leave but has not announced his next move.

Some legal experts and ruling parties have advised him to quit on moral ground. Sources say Joshee will wait and watch until the Constitutional Council recommends another judge to head the judiciary.

Though Joshee’s nomination was rejected for appointment as chief justice, there is no legal hurdle for him to continue his service at the apex court, experts say.

Joshee has refused to resign calling the PHC decision “biased” while the parliamentary panel “did not try even to verify allegations” of dubious academic credentials and controversial rulings from his bench.

The PHC can specify no further move other than rejecting or approving the recommendations after hearing. Constitutional expert Chandra Kant Gyawali argues that the problem arose in the lack of a substantive law required by the constitution.

Article 292 of the charter provisions a Federal Act to guide the process. The hearing was conducted based on the Federal Parliament Joint Meeting and Joint Committee (Operation) Regulations, a procedural law.

Gyawali said Joshee’s next move--continuation or resignation--would depend on his discretion. Joshee can remain in the apex court until October 9 next year, when he attains the retirement age.

Another constitutional expert, Bipin Adhikari accused the parties of creating difficulties by not having the necessary legislation in place. The charges levelled against Joshee are so serious that, if proven, he will be unfit even to remain as a justice.

“The best option left for Joshee is to resign before parliamentary action,” said Advocate Tika Ram Bhattarai, hinting at the parties’ “compulsion” to remove him through impeachment if they maintain their stance.

Published: 05-08-2018 07:28

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