KATHMANDU, August 27: Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana has announced not to be a part of the Constitutional Bench that will pass the final verdict on a writ petition filed against the appointments made to various constitutional bodies by the erstwhile government led by K P Oli.
A hearing on the writ petition filed earlier against the move of Oli-led government to make appointments to various constitutional bodies by amending the Constitutional Council Act was scheduled for Friday after a hiatus of eight months. Chief Justice Rana had formed a Constitutional Bench to conduct hearings on the writ petition.
The petitioners, however, argued that Chief Justice Rana should not be part of the bench to hear the case as he had also participated in the CC meeting that was boycotted by the Speaker and the main opposition party leader. Although Chief Justice Rana argued that he will agree with the opinion of four other justices in the Constitutional Bench, the petitioners demanded that he choose to stay away from the bench that will conduct the hearing on the writ petition as this to avoid ‘conflict of interests’.
Advocate Om Prakash Aryal said Chief Justice Rana has agreed to stay away from the bench as per the demand of the petitioners. It is now likely that Justice Dipak Kumar Karki, who will be Acting Chief Justice after Rana stays on mandatory leave later this month before his retirement, will form a new Constitutional Bench on the basis of seniority of justices that will pass the final verdict on the case.
A writ petition to annul the ordinance on the Constitutional Council issued by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers was filed at the Supreme Court on June 13. The writ petition was filed by advocate Om Prakash Aryal claiming that the ordinance issued on May 4 was unconstitutional.
After the ordinance was issued, a meeting of the Constitutional Council held on May 9 had recommended people for appointments to various 20 vacant positions in the constitutional bodies. The writ petitioner has sought to declare the 'unconstitutional' recommendations and all appointments made on the basis of the ordinance to various constitutional bodies be declared invalid.