The impeachment recommendation committee on Sunday asked five questions to suspended Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana including his commutation of sentence of former Armed Police Force DIG Ranjan Koirala who was found guilty of murdering his wife.
The 11-strong committee, that had prepared 43 questions to grill CJ Rana, has again summoned him on September 11 for further questioning.
CJ Rana claimed that he exercised his wisdom while commuting the sentence of Koirala, according to Nepali Congress (NC) Whip and member of the impeachment recommendation committee Min Bishwokarma.
"I decided to commute sentence after being influenced on hearing statement by Ranjan's family. I used my conscience. I don't have to say anything if I am impeached due to that reason," Bishwokarma quoted Rana as responding.
A joint bench of Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC had commuted Koirala’s sentence on June 29, 2020.
A joint bench of Justices Deepak Karki, Kumar Chudal and Tanka Moktan hearing the review petition registered by the Office of the Attorney General against the decision on May 26, 2022 has already overturned the commutation.
The Kathmandu District Court had issued life sentence with confiscation of all properties finding Koirala guilty of pre-meditated murder of his wife Geeta Dhakal and burning the body to destroy evidence and the then Patan Appellate Court had upheld the verdict when Koirala appealed against that.
A joint bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Tej Bahadur KC on June 29, 2020, however, had commuted Koirala's sentence by 11 years using discretionary powers granted by the Muluki Ain to judges stating life sentence seemed too harsh stating that the wife was the instigator of the incident as she died when he pushed her during a dispute initiated by her, raising of his two sons, who are both over 20 years in age, had been affected when he was in prison and it looked a chance incident.
Koirala was released on the same day after serving eight and half years.
The Office of the Attorney General had filed the review petition as per constitutional provision and the Apex Court had decided to review it pointing that the use of the discretionary powers by the bench of Rana and KC in the commutation was against the legal principles propounded earlier by the SC.