Suspended Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana has refuted allegations of seeking a share in the federal Cabinet.
Answering questions posed by the impeachment recommendation committee of parliament on Tuesday, Rana said that it would have been better if the question were not asked pointing that the issue was not mentioned in the 21 different charges leveled against him while registering the impeachment motion. He then refuted the allegations.
Prime Minister (PM) Sher Bahadur Deuba had appointed Rana’s brother-in-law Gajendra Hamal, who is not even a federal lawmaker, as minister for industry, commerce and supplies during the Cabinet expansion on October 8, 2021 ahead of many aspiring lawmakers from Deuba's party Nepali Congress (NC) reportedly on recommendation of Rana.
Hamal had resigned on October 10 following widespread criticism over appointment of the brother of CJ Rana's wife despite not being a federal lawmaker.
Rana reminded Tuesday how he had issued a statement refuting allegations made in the media and even PM Deuba had refuted those allegations. He has claimed that he had even urged coalition leaders to not appoint Hamal as minister after Hamal’s impending appointment was reported in the media linking Hamal with Rana.
“I cordially requested the official concerned who appoints ministers, who was in the place of appointing ministers and those in the coalition to not make the person minister as he was already linked with the chief justice,” Rana has said Tuesday.
He added that he even commented that the appointment created problem after Hamal was appointed minister. “He apparently resigned and left after that. This question should not have come in this process. It would not be right to reveal too many things. This is surprising. Revealing this will not be right. It is the prime minister’s right to appoint ministers as per the Constitution. Can we even imagine that the PM forms the Cabinet on someone’s pressure or request? Can such allegations be made against the chief justice?”
Rana again pointed how Deuba publicly claimed that he appointed an active member of the party minister following the controversy over Hamal’s appointment.
Hamal has good connection with both Deuba and Rana. Hamal is elder brother of the first wife of Rana. Rana married again after his first wife died.
Hamal, who was Nepali Congress (NC) president of Banke over two decades back, had reportedly used his relation with Deuba to get Rana promoted to the SC from the then Appellate Court.
Rana apparently wanted to pay his brother-in-law back by getting him appointed minister.
Hamal is no longer active in politics but his younger brother Surendra Hamal is provincial assembly member in Lumbini from NC.