KATHMANDU, Aug 4: The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has called its parliamentary party meeting for Saturday to chart the party’s future course of action after the Parliamentary Hearings Committee (PHC) on Friday rejected Deepak Raj Joshee for chief justice.
While terming the move of the PHC as an attempt to put judiciary under the shadow of the executive, the main opposition party has vowed to fight for the cause of independent judiciary. The NC lawmakers represented in the PHC meeting that rejected Joshee’s nomination had boycotted the meeting on Friday.
Giving five different reasons behind their decision to boycott the PHC meeting, NC has said the PHC did not have any valid reason and evidence to reject the nomination of Joshee made by the Judicial Council. The party said they had to boycott the meeting since they had serious differences over the PHC decision.
NC has insisted that the recommendation made by the Judicial Council, which was formed in line with the Article 284 (1), needs to be considered to have been made on the basis of the candidate’s professional integrity, good moral character, honesty, academic qualifications, social prestige and public opinion toward him.
NC further argued that the Judicial Council had already tested the eligibility of Joshee for chief justice and there was no point in rejecting his name by the PHC.
Issuing a separate press statement, Nepali Congress-affiliated Nepal Democratic Lawyers’ Association said the PHC move had directly interfered with the independent judiciary. The move to reject the candidate duly recommended by the Judicial Council was a conspiracy to bring all serving justices under the control of the executive.
Separately, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) in a statement expressed concerns saying that the PHC’s Friday decision will invite several constitutional and political complexities in the days ahead. “It is the jurisdiction of the PHC to evaluate the qualification, expertise and capacity of the recommended person and take a decision. But the PHC’s rejection of a candidate recommended by the Judicial Council proves that the process of making appointments in the constitutional bodies is faulty,” said the statement released by RPP leader Mohan Shrestha.