Chief Justice Rana decides not to sit on constitutional bench

KATHMANDU: Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana has decided to leave the constitutional bench formed to hear on the case filed against the appointments made by erstwhile KP Sharma Oli-led government in the Constitutional bodies.

Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana and Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Meera Khadka, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai were in the constitutional bench.

Now, in his absence of Chief Justice Rana, senior-most Justice Deepak Kumar Karki will chair the constitutional bench as the acting Chief Justice and appoint four other Justices to carry out final hearing on the case.

The Justices of the constitutional bench started a discussion after writ petitioners argued that the Chief Justice should not sit in the bench as he is a defendant in the case. They said Chief Justice Rana should take leave on the day the case would be listed for final hearing.

As per the constitution, Chief Justice should chair the constitutional bench. But, as Rana has decided to leave the constitutional bench, senior-most Justice will chair the bench and continue the proceedings. He, however, will not show up in the Supreme Court on the day of hearing and delivering the verdict.

The hearing on the case has now been scheduled for next Friday.

The Oli-led government in February and June appointed dozens of officials in the constitutional bodies including the Human Rights Commission and Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority through the Constitutional Council ordinance.

The Oli-led government issued the ordinance amending the Constitutional Council Act on December 16  to make appointments in the constitutional bodies. The ordinance was later endorsed by the President on April 24, 2020 even though Oli’s party leaders opposed it.

Later, advocate Om Prakash Aryal June 13 filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court against the ordinance, saying that the ordinance was issued bypassing the Parliament.

 

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