Constitutional Council likely to meet today

Published On: August 8, 2018 08:23 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Aug 8: The Constitutional Council (CC) is likely to meet on Wednesday in order to select the new chief justice (CJ). 

According to sources, Prime Minister KP Oli who is also the chairman of the CC has called the meeting for Wednesday to pick the new CJ as acting CJ Deepak Raj Joshee was rejected for the post on Friday by the Parliamentary Hearings Committee (PHC).

Following the rejection, Joshee has gone for 15-day home leave and the senior-most justice at SC, Om Prakash Mishra, has taken charge as the acting CJ.

According to the sources, the CC may choose one between Mishra and Justice Cholendra SJB Rana whose names were forwarded by the Judicial Council some four months ago following the removal of then Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli. According to the Constitution, an apex court judge with three years experience would be eligible for Chief Justice.

An official of the CC said that the process of selecting another CJ would be based on seniority basis. Therefore, the CC meeting would prefer Mishra and if any problems arise on his name, the CC may go for another name.

Mishra who was born on January 1, 1954 joined the judicial service in 1980 and was promoted to a district court judge in 1985 after which he had served as a judge in an appellate court and the Supreme Court. Mishra did his intermediate level studies from Nawatanuwa, Gorakhpur, India and Diploma in law (1980) and Master in Political Science (1985) from Tribhuvan University and Master of Comparative Law (MCL) from Delhi University in 1989.

If nominated by the CC as per Article 284 of the Constitution, the CC would forward the name of the CJ nominee to the PHC to conduct parliamentary hearing. 

The CC chaired by the PM has the chief justice, the speaker, chairperson of the National Assembly, leader of the opposition party in the House of Representatives, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives are ex-officio member while minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs shall also be an invitee while taking decision on chief justice. After the nomination, the PHC shall conduct parliamentary hearing for the judge.

Meanwhile, following the parliamentary rejection, acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee is being shifted from the official residence of chief justice, Baluwatar to his own house in Dhumbarahi, Kathmandu. A source said that he has been shifting his belongings so that he may shift to his house on Wednesday.

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