Senior Supreme Court (SC) justices have started discussion amidst demands for Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana to resign or face impeachment due to controversies including him seeking a share in the federal Cabinet.
"The issue of CJ seeking a share in Cabinet is very serious. This has put all of us SC justices in a difficult position. We are holding discussion about what to do after questions have been raised against him both within the judiciary and outside," an SC justice told Setopati. "We will again sit for discussion today and there may be some development after that."
The justices including Hari Krishna Karki, Deepak Kumar Karki, Meera Khadka, Bishwambhar Shrestha, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Prakash Singh had held a discussion at Hari Krishna Karki's chamber after the lunch break even on Friday.
They reached a conclusion that they should do something now that questions have been raised about CJ Rana but could not decide what to do. Some of the justices suggested that CJ Rana should be asked questions about the recent controversies while others opined they should make their collective stand on the issue public.
"The Friday's meeting ended with an understanding to again meet on Sunday to decide about what should be done," another justice confided. "We feel that we must definitely do something to save prestige and independence of the judiciary and the public trust on it after the CJ has been mired in so many controversies."
The association of former justices on Thursday had also urged for appropriate outlet pointing that CJ Rana has been mired in one controversy after another.
Analyzing the current state of the judiciary during its sixth general assembly, Former Justice Forum, Nepal stated that CJ Rana, who has been mired in controversies including seeking share in the Cabinet, should himself provide a way out.
The forum also urged the House of Representatives (HoR) for a fair investigation if CJ Rana does not provide an outlet.
It counted the controversies of CJ Rana including questions raised by the committee led by Justice Hari Krishna Karki about the role of CJ, controversies about picking bench in different cases including those about HoR dissolution, accusations about CJ Rana getting a share of spoils in appointments at constitutional bodies, involvement of CJ Rana in the case about the Constitutional Council, delay in the hearing of case filed making CJ Rana a defendant, and reports about him seeking share in the Cabinet, and pointed that it will be appropriate for CJ Rana himself to provide a way out to save dignity, credibility and independence of the judiciary.
"This seems appropriate and mandatory. But if CJ does not display generosity for the sake of judiciary, we urge the HoR to come forward to fulfill its constitutional duty for fair investigation of all the controversies about the CJ," the forum urged.
The former justices also requested justices and judges of all levels to save the judiciary from their leadership.
A former justice affiliated with the forum told Setopati that they demanded resignation of CJ Rana or his impeachment if he doesn't resign.