KATHMANDU, July 30: As part of efforts to bring about reforms within the judiciary, the Judicial Council (JC) has formed two separate panels to investigate judges who have allegedly erred in relation to various cases.
The JC, which is headed by the chief justice, held a meeting on Monday and decided to form the panels to investigate three judges at Pokhara High Court and a judge at Kathmandu District Court . A panel headed by Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla is to investigate Pokhara High Court Judges Jeevan Hari Adhikari, Nara Bahadur Shahi and Ramchandra Raya over the orders they issued in relation to a tax evasion case concerning Gorkha Brewery. Gorkha Brewery is alleged to have evaded millions in taxes.
The JC took its decision just four days after the Supreme Court ordered action against the judges for going beyond their jurisdiction. On July 24, a single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Rana ordered the JC to take action against the high court judges for issuing orders that go beyond their jurisdiction.
The bench also stayed an interim order issued by the judges and directed that action be taken against them for unduly favoring Gorkha Brewery over the imposition of excise duty by the Inland Revenue Office in Bharatpur.
Pokhara High Court Judge Yadav had first issued an interim order which was later upheld by a division bench of Judges Adhikari and Shahi.
Gorkha Brewery should have registered its writ petition at Patan High Court or its Hetauda bench, as the firm falls under Province 3. But it had filed its petition at Pokhara High Court which then ruled in its favor . This raised questions over the judges themselves.
The issue came to light after Bharatpur Inland Revenue Office challenged the Pokhara High Court order at the apex court, claiming that the high court had acted erroneously. The JC has also formed another panel, led by Justice Tej Bahadur KC, to investigate the role of Kathmandu District Court Judge Arjun Koirala.
Koirala, who is currently at the Kathmandu court, faces investigation for an allegedly erroneous judgment while he was at Lalitpur District Court. What the erroneous judgement was about has not been disclosed yet.