KATHMANDU, June 13: he Constitutional Council (CC) on Tuesday recommended Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee for appointment as the Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court.
The post of CJ has remained vacant for the last three months after the Judicial Council relieved the then CJ Gopal Parajuli of his responsibilities in March. A meeting of the CC held at the Office of the Prime Minister at Singha Durbar decided to nominate the senior-most justice at the apex court as the head of the judiciary.
“The CC has decided to recommend Joshee as the chief justice and write to the Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee (PHSC) for his hearing,” said Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Sher Bahadur Tamang after the meeting.
However, the hearing process is expected to begin only after at least a week as the hearings committee of parliament is yet to be formed. Parliament had endorsed the regulations of the lower house on Friday and upper house on Sunday opening the door for the formation of the hearings committee and other house panels. However, due to the delay in endorsing the joint House regulation, formation of the parliamentary committees has not begun yet. According to the parliament secretariat, the joint regulation will be endorsed only the next week. The joint regulation has proposed that the hearings committee will comprise 10 members from the lower house and five from the upper house.
Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has instructed the chief whips of the political parties to provide their wish list of members to be appointed to the 10 lower house committees by this week, informed his media advisor Dilli Malla. Likewise, political parties have already prepared their lists for the members of the upper house committees.
After the political parties provided their lists, Speaker and National Assembly chairman will ask the general secretary at the parliament secretariat to publish the election date for picking the head of the hearings committee.
Both ruling and opposition political parties have claimed the post of head of the 15-member hearing committee. After the hearing committee endorses the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, the way will be paved for the president to appoint the chief justice at the SC.
Minister Tamang also said that recommendations for the chief of the constitutional anti graft body, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), will be made soon. Nine of the 13 constitutional bodies are either without chiefs or are yet to be formed.