Broadly speaking, Lokman Singh Karki is himself responsible for his downfall which looks certain now. However, there are some other forces which led the turn of events to Karki’s suspension from the post of CIAA Chief.
The countdown for the downfall of the controversial Chief Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Lokman Singh Karki has begun. Karki has automatically been suspended from his post after an Impeachment Proposal was registered against him at the Legislature-Parliament on Wednesday evening. A total of 157 lawmakers – 107 from the CPN (UML) and 50 from the CPN (Maoist Center) – registered the motion in parliament.
Also, a writ petition questioning Karki’s eligibility for the post of the chief commissioner of CIAA is sub judice at the Supreme Court. Various commentators have claimed that even if Karki somehow manages to escape the impeachment motion filed against him in parliament, he is least likely to be spared by the apex court.
So, it appears safe to conclude that Lokman’s downfall has already begun.
However, this was never easy. Amid protests from various quarters, Karki was appointed the CIAA chief with the consent of all the major political forces – Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), CPN (Maoist Center) and the Madhesi Front - a little more than three years ago.
The major political parties soon realized that they had made a great mistake but they kept on shying away from their responsibility to correct this mistake, i.e. relieving him from his post. The so-called civil society of Nepal, too, remained tight-lipped on the issue of taking any action against Lokman who appeared all-powerful and invincible.
But there were people who dared to stand up against Lokman’s abuse of power and highhandedness even though the situation was not favorable for this. In short, there are mainly five factors which eventually led to Lokman’s exit from CIAA. They are as follows:
Dr Govind KC
At a time when everyone appeared scared of Lokman, this senior orthopedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) stood firmly against him. Dr KC was the first prominent person in the country to demand the impeachment of Karki and he even went on a hunger strike to press this demand, among others. Satyagrahi Dr KC said in clear plain words that Karki was not only protecting the corrupt in the medical education sector but also obstructing the overall process of medical education’s reforms.
Stung by Dr KC’s grave allegations, Lokman’s CIAA dubbed Dr KC’s demands as an “an indication of meanness, anarchy and unhealthy mind.” In a press statement (which was withdrawn following huge criticism), the CIAA even asked the government “to make an appropriate arrangement for Dr KC’s treatment as soon as possible”.
But it didn’t take long for the people to realize who needed medical attention. Thousands came out on the streets in support of Dr KC and his demands, mounting an unprecedented pressure on those at helms of state affairs to move against Karki.
Strange! Among the so many political parties in Nepal, this new and comparatively small party was the only political force which officially decided to oppose Karki. Hundreds of Bibeksheel cadres had actively joined medical students, doctors and general public in the rally supporting Dr KC.
When (now suspended) CIAA chief Karki used the excuse of being ill to avoid questioning by the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee (GGMC) of the Legislature-Parliament, Bibeksheel demonstrated with banners and pamphlets in front of the CIAA headquarters in Baluwatar, shouting slogans like ‘Get well soon Lokman’. The symbolic protest carried a lot of meaning.
This famous firebrand youth leader of Nepal dared to publicly stand with Dr KC when his bosses in the Nepali Congress were too scared, to say the least, to even talk about Karki and his impeachment. Gagan was supported by Dhan Raj Grunung, a fellow lawmaker from his own party, and Maoist Center lawmaker Shyam Shrestha. These three lawmakers jointly registered a proposal of public importance in the Legislature-Parliament “to hold discussions on Dr Govinda KC’s demands including the impeachment of Karki.
The Nepali media was quick to respond to the situation. Dr KC and his demands and his fasts-unto-death became front page stories for almost all prominent newspapers in the country. Radios and television channels aired special coverage. Online news portals, too, covered the issue extensively. This mounted a tremendous pressure on the politicians.
To deal with the media, Lokman even tried arm-twisting but the media was unfazed to report the ill-doings of Lokamn.
In a quick succession of events yesterday, an impeachment recommendation committee was formed in the parliament and 157 lawmakers of the 601-member Legislature Parliament came out of their slumber and registered an impeachment motion against Karki.
However, the parliament’s meeting which was scheduled to start discussions on the impeachment motion against Karki today itself has been postponed till 11 AM Sunday (Oct 23). Sources have claimed that the Nepali Congress is shaking its legs and has sought more time to discuss the issue within the party first. Let’s hope the party comes up with a decision which it will not regret in the future.