Justices Tej Bahadur KC and Bam Kumar Shrestha have refused to recuse themselves from the constitutional bench hearing the petitions related to the House dissolution.
Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana held a meeting of the five-strong constitutional bench on Sunday after questions were raised about Shrestha and KC during the hearing. Justices Deepak Kumar Karki and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai suggested during the meeting that it would be better for the two justices to recuse themselves but CJ Rana said that KC and Shrestha should take the decision themselves.
Karki and Bhatatrai then demanded the matter be discussed by all 13 justices in the roster for constitutional bench but CJ Rana refused to comply.
KC and Shrestha wrote to the remaining three justices in the bench on Monday that they have no reservations about hearing the case despite the questions raised about them.
An SC source confided that the 13 justices of the roster are meeting on Monday after refusal of KC and Shrestha for recusal. "They have written that hearing the case would not make much difference despite the two senior justices advising recusal. It doesn't seem that the senior justices would relent easily," the source added. "The roster will meet now and decision will be taken after that."
Lawyers pleading on behalf of the petitioners have been protesting against presence of Justices Bam Kumar Shrestha and Tej Bahadur KC in the constitutional bench hearing the petitions related to the House dissolution.
Shrestha was part of the joint bench also including Kumar Regmi that invalidated the unification of CPN on March 7 reinstating CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) to the state before their unification while KC was part of the bench that refused to review that verdict.
Similarly, KC is the only justice out of the four in the five-strong constitutional bench, that reinstated the House after it was dissolved on December 20, 2020, to have been repeated in the bench by CJ Rana.
There were heated and sarcastic exchanges between the lawyers and CJ Rana while arguing about the issue during the hearing on Sunday.
Published Date: Monday, May 31, 2021, 14:58:00