May 22, 2017 12:00 AM NPT
We consulted legal experts on the issue. They advised us to go ahead since the court has not issued any stay order, and then acting chief justice [Gopal Parajuli] was himself involved in recommending him for CIAA chief.
-- PHSC Secretary Dhruba Ghimire
KATHMANDU, May 22: The Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee (PHSC) on Sunday endorsed a government decision to appoint Deep Basnyat as chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
Basnet is currently the acting chief commissioner of the CIAA. Appointed as commissioner of anti-graft body in February 2015 Basnyat was appointed acting chief after the Supreme Court suspended Lokman Singh Karki from the post. Karki, who was accused of abusing his authority to silence his personal opponents, had also faced an impeachment motion in parliament. The apex court later suspended Karki from the position branding him ineligibe.
Bansnyat's appointment comes at a time when a case is pending at the Supreme Court against him and three others. Complaints were lodged at the hearings committee saying that a case against Basnyat is sub judice. But the committee, which was aware about the court case, endorsed the appointment saying sub judice case will not affect the appointment.
"We consulted legal experts on the issue. They advised us to go ahead since the court has not issued any stay order, and then acting chief justice [Gopal Parajuli] was himself involved in recommending him for CIAA chief," PHSC Secretary Dhruba Ghimire told the Republica after the committee's decision to endorse Basnyat as CIAA chief.
The then acting Chief Justice Parajuli was also present at the meeting of the Constitutional Council as its member.
In November, a writ petition was filed at the apex court arguing that four CIAA commissioners -- Basnyat, Nabin Kumar Ghimire, Sabitri Gurung, and Ganesh Raj Joshi -- are ineligible for their posts. The petitioner has aruged that the four are also ineligible for their posts just like Lokman Singh Karki.
The writ petitioner had argued that except for commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak other commissioners do not meet the criteria for the posts, days after chief justice Sushila Karki was briefly suspended after an impeachment motion was filed at the parliament.
The parliamentary committee has also endorsed Tanka Mani Sharma for Auditor General.