High profile complaints at hearings committee

Published On: April 13, 2019 04:05 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 13: High profile individuals including a member of provincial assembly and a senior advocate have filed complaints at the Parliamentary Hearings Committee (PHC) against the nominees of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Supreme Court justices.

Provincial Assembly member of Province 3, Narottam Baidya, has filed a complaint against CEC nominee Dinesh Thapaliya and senior advocate Sambhu Thapa has filed a complaint against the five nominees of Supreme Court justices.

High-profile individuals rarely register complaints at the parliamentary hearing committee, according to experts. “I have openly filed complaints questioning the nomination of justices at the Supreme Court because there is nothing to hide about it,” said Thapa.

Similarly, provincial parliamentarian Baidya has demanded that CEC nominee Thapaliya be disqualified from the parliamentary grilling claiming that the latter is loyal to the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

Earlier, most of the complaints registered against the chief justice and justices nominees for the apex court used to be unnamed. After the hearings committee rejected the nomination of Deepak Raj Joshi as the Chief Justice last year, serious and objective complaints have started to be registered at the hearings committee.

“The PHC exercised its authority while rejecting Joshee, though the decision was not fair, I have sought the same height of parliamentary supremacy on this issue,” said Baidya.

His complaint has accused government secretary Thapaliya of working at the behest of the ruling party while serving the bureaucracy at different positions. “Thapaliya's appointment to the Election Commission would pose a threat to the independence of the election body in holding fair elections,” Baidya told Republica, elaborating on his complaint.

Five other complaints have been registered against the nomination of Thapaliya at the Election Commission. Four of the complaints have accused Thapaliya of being prejudiced while adjusting civil servants at the provincial and local levels.

According to the parliament secretariat, six complaints have been registered against Thapaliya until Friday, the last deadline to file complaints prior to his grilling by the hearings committee. Thapa's complaint has questioned the nomination process, seniority of the nominees and inclusiveness and nomination precedence in the past. Another complaint has been filed against apex court justice nominee Prakash Dhungana.

The PHC is scheduled to open hearings on the complaints on Tuesday, according to the committee secretariat.

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