Constitutional bench gets full shape, resumes work
November 15, 2018 07:39 AM
KATHMANDU, Nov 15: The constitutional bench at the Supreme Court resumed work from Wednesday after a gap of three months.
“It resumed work after getting full shape in line with the constitution,” Bhadrakali Pokharel, the court’s spokesman said.
“As per the constitution, the chief justice is the chairperson of the bench. He inducts four others as members,” Pokharel added.
The five-member bench was formed by Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra on Wednesday more than two months after he assumed the position of the judicial leadership on September 10.
But earlier Mishra courted controversy when he decided to pick seniormost justice Deepak Raj Joshee, who had been rejected for chief justice by the parliamentary hearings committee on August 3, as a member of the constitutional bench. This caused delay in the bench formation process. The bench settles constitutional disputes.
Justices Cholendra SJB Rana, Deepak Kumar Karki and Kedar Prasad Chalise are the other members of the bench. The bench on Wednesday began hearing on a writ petition that was filed challenging the delegation of authority to the then secretary of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Bhagawati Kumar Kafle by its retiring commissioners Lalit Bahadur Limbu and Bed Prasad Siwakoti in 2008.
The last time the bench had conducted a hearing was three months ago before bench member Joshee was rejected by the PHC. Misunderstandings between the chief justice and the senior-most justice, disputes in the judiciary, internal politics and disputes in the Judicial Council delayed the formation of the bench.
According to Article 137 (1) of the Constitution, the constitutional bench is supposed to be formed under the chairmanship of chief justice in order to settle constitutional disputes such as the disputes between the center and provinces, between provinces and disputes between provinces and local units.
If any case has a constitutional dispute, the chief justice or any bench can refer it to the constitutional bench.
According to the records of the Supreme Court, there are 223 cases pending at the constitutional bench but most of them were already registered during the interim constitution was in operation.