KATHMANDU, July 31: Although the confusion over an academic certificate of chief justice nominee Deepak Raj Joshee has been cleared, the Parliamentary Hearings Committee (PHC) put off any decision yet again on Monday as lawmakers of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) were against his nomination.
Earlier, the parliamentary committee at its meetings on Friday and Sunday, postponed any decision, citing confusion over acting CJ Joshi's SLC certificate. At the past meetings, some lawmakers raised questions about the conflicting symbol numbers and issuance date of his academic certificate .
However, NCP lawmakers on Monday said confusion about academic credentials was no longer a reason behind the delayed decision.
“He couldn't furnish convincing answers to our questions about the increasing role of middlemen in court verdicts in recent years and his overall presentation at the committee wasn't satisfactory,” said hearings committee member Parbat Gurung of NCP.
NCP lawmakers proposed to the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) to unanimously reject Joshee's nomination, said a committee member . But NC lawmakers not only rejected the proposal but threatened to boycott the committee meetings if the ruling parties went ahead and rejected Joshee unilaterally.
“After the NC lawmakers sought time for discussing our proposal in their party, we decided to defer the meeting till Wednesday. We are expecting the committee to take a decision unanimously whatever the decision is,” said another NCP lawmaker, Yogesh Bhattarai.
NC lawmakers did not comment about the proposal of the ruling party members. “They didn't put forth a rejection proposal . But we urged postponement of the decision in order to enable further discussions,” said NC lawmaker on the committee Pushpa Bhusal.
Asked about the NC's position, Bhusal said the party will reach a decision after deliberations about Joshee's qualifications during the PHC meeting. “The committee is yet to discuss his qualification following the hearings on Thursday,” she said.
According to party sources, NCP lawmakers reached a conclusion on rejecting Joshee's nomination during a meeting with their deputy parliamentary party leader Subash Nembang prior to the PHC meeting on Monday.
NCP leaders said the two chairpersons of the party are undecided about their proposal as Joshee was unanimously recommended by the Constitutional Council headed by Prime Minister K P Oli last month while the party's members on the committee are one on rejecting the nomination.
Joshee's relations with Attorney General Agni Kharel had soured after the former turned downed some of Kharel's proposals. Kharel is believed to be an Oli confidant . He had held a meeting with NCP members on the hearings committee along with Nembang a day before the Joshee hearings.
Sources said NCP leader and Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun reached Joshee's residence at Baluwatar Sunday evening to assure him of help with his endorsement. Former speaker Onsari Gharti, who is Pun's spouse, was also at the meeting.