Nepal Parliament rejects Chief Justice nominee amid opposition’s boycott

Deepak Raj Joshee attends a meeting of the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

Kathmandu, August 3

The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee on Friday disapproved the nomination of Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee for the position of Chief Justice.

This is the first time in Nepal’s political history that any nominee for the constitutional position has been rejected by the parliamentary committee.

A meeting of the panel consisting of 12 members of the House of Representatives and three of the National Assembly made the decision.

After the main opposition Nepali Congress boycotted the meeting, members representing the Nepal Communist Party and the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal rejected the nomination with two thirds majority votes.

They have said that Joshee is disqualified for the position on the grounds of erroneous data on his academic credentials and comments made by court officials about his incompetence at different points of time.

Lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai says he voted against Joshee because he could not present any idea about leading the judiciary as the panel summoned him for a meeting last week. Therefore, the Committee could not be convinced that he would lead the court competently and independently, according to him.

According to the parliamentary regulations, two third majority can reject such nominations. In the 15-member committee, there are nine from the NCP and one from the Forum-Nepal.

Four members belong to the Nepali Congress whereas one is a leader of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal. As the Congress boycotted and RJPN’s Laxman Lal Karna could not vote for his position of the chairperson of the panel, no one cast vote for Joshee.

Congress members–Bhimsen Das Pradhan, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Pushpa Bhusal Gautam and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki–issued a statement informing that they boycotted the meeting as the ruling side could not present convincing reasons for rejecting the name.

They also argued that the Constitutional Council had already evaluated qualifications of Joshee while making the nomination.

Published on August 3rd, Friday, 2018 2:04 PM

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