Nepal CJ Cholendra Shamsher Rana faces impeachment motion

Cholendra Shamsher Rana
File: Cholendra Shamsher Rana

Kathmandu, February 13

Lawmakers of the ruling alliance have filed an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana.

With the registration of the motion, Rana is automatically suspended as per the constitution. The senior-most Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana will act as the acting chief justice.

As many as 98 lawmakers including sitting Law Minister Dilendra Prasad Badu have signed the impeachment motion registered at the Federal Parliament Secretariat this morning. Whips of the ruling Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre and CPN-Unified Socialist–Pushpa Bhusal, Dev Gurung and Jeevan Ram Shrestha respectively–have proposed the motion.

For over four months, CJ Rana has been at the centre of controversy in national politics with him being accused of asking for his representation in the new cabinet in exchange for the constitutional bench reinstating the parliament.

Since then, the umbrella organisation of Nepali lawyers, the Nepal Bar Association, has been carrying out protests against him, asking for his resignation, but Rana is adamant. Meanwhile, recent reports have also revealed his faulty decisions as the chief justice have jeopardised judicial independence.

For the past three months, CJ Rana has been deprived of his key right of assigning the cases. Moreover, with all the justices being against him, they have been carrying meetings on their own and making Rana sign.

It is not yet clear whether the parties are really serious about the impeachment motion or it was just a tool to put pressure on him to resign.

Without the main opposition CPN-UML, the impeachment motion cannot be passed as it requires a two-thirds majority, and the UML is unlikely to extend its support as it was not consulted beforehand.

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