KATHMANDU, Feb 15: A group of lawyers staged a sit-in on Wednesday demanding the resignation of Chief Justice and Chairman of Judicial Council (JC) Gopal Parajuli.
They staged a sit-in inside the JC saying that Chief Justice Parajuli, who himself has already courted controversy over his education qualification and citizenship, cannot make a recommendation for the appointment of judges.
“After we learned that controversial Chief Justice Parajuli was all set to appoint judges by calling JC's meeting on Wednesday, we decided to stage the protest,” Kapil Dhakal, a protesting lawyer, said. He also said that making the recommendation for the appointment of judges at a time when the law minister is all set to resign is objectionable.
Currently, as many as 11 positions of judges at various High Courts and eight positions of judges at the District Courts are lying vacant. Chief Justice Parajuli was making preparations to make the recommendation for the appointment of judges to fill the vacant positions.
A press statement issued by the lawyers following the sit-in stated that Chief Justice Parajuli should refrain from making any decision that can have long-term consequences. They have also demanded an investigation into the education qualifications and citizenship of the chief justice.
“Until the government completes its investigation into his academic credentials and citizenship, he should be barred from making recommendations for the appointment of new judges,” the press statement added.
Despite the protests, Chief Justice Parajuli convened the meeting of the JC on Wednesday. However, the meeting ended without making any such recommendations. The JC meeting instead decided to depute judge of Tulsipur High Court Prabha Basnet to the National Judicial Academy for the time being. Similarly, the meeting also decided to extend the deputation tenure of judges at Surkhet High Court.