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80 High Court judges appointed at midnight, near and dear ones of powerful leaders among the picks

Kathmandu, January 13

At Thursday midnight, the Judicial Council appointed 80 judges of the High Court. The picks also include kith and kin of leaders from ruling parties.

Justice Baidhya Nath Upadhyaya and Ram Prasad Sitaula, a Nepal Bar Association representative at the Council, did not attend the JudicialCcouncil-of-Nepalmeeting that finalised the names in a very opaque manner.

Upadhyaya and Sitaula boycotted the midnight meeting objecting to the political parties’ act of dividing the positions among themselves.

Sitaula confirmed that he did not attend the meeting and he does not know about the appointment of high court judges.

A source told Onlinekhabar: Before finalising the names of judges, leader of the ruling CPN-Maoist Centre, Barsha Man Pun, went to the residence of Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba in Budhanilkantha at around 11  pm to hand over the list of the party’s candidates.

Deuba made certain changes in the list by including his picks, the source claimed, adding: Prime Minister’s Residence in Baluwatar got the list later. However, Pun denied visiting Deuba’s residence on Thursday night. Pun said: This is untrue. It has been months since I visited Budhanilkantha.

Pun, though, admitted giving some suggestions to the council in the capacity of chief of the Maoist party’s Law and Human Rights Department. He described this act as natural and made it clear that he is not authorised to attend JC meetings.

Pun also denied claims that NC leader and Minister Ramesh Lekhak attended the midnight meeting. He said: Since yesterday, Rameshji is in Siraha, not in Kathmandu.

With this controversial move, there are fears that Nepal’s judiciary has also embraced political parties’ inglorious ‘tradition’ of making crucial decisions in an opaque manner, often at midnight. 

With this controversial move, there are fears that Nepal’s judiciary has also embraced political parties’ inglorious ‘tradition’ of making crucial decisions in an opaque manner, often at midnight.

 

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