KATHMANDU, March 28: The Judicial Council (JC) on Tuesday forwarded the names of three justices to the Constitutional Council for the selection of the chief justice.
The three justices whose names have been forwarded to the CC include Acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee and justices Om Prakash Mishra and Cholendra SJB Rana.
The post of chief justice remains vacant after Gopal Parajuli resigned the post on March 15.
“Our meeting endorsed the three names for the selection of the chief justice,” Acting CJ Joshee told Republica.
Joshee said the three names were forwarded in accordance with Article 129 (3) of the constitution, which says that anyone who has served as justice at the Supreme Court for three years is qualified for appointment of chief justice. Now, the CC, which is headed by the prime minister will choose one of the three nominees for chief justice and recommend him for parliamentary hearing as per Article 292(1) of the Constitution.
The Article states: “Parliamentary hearings shall be conducted as to appointments to the offices of the chief justice and judges of the Supreme Court, members of the Judicial Council, chiefs and members of constitutional bodies, who are appointed on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council under this Constitution, and to the offices of ambassadors, as provided for in the federal law.”
Joshee has been working as acting chief justice from March 15 following Parajuli's resignation. Parajuli resigned after JC Secretary Nripa Dhwaj Niroula on March 14 wrote to him and other authorities concerned that he was due for retirement seven months ago.
Petition challenges legality of president's oath
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the court administration to accept a writ petition that challenged the legality of the oath of office and secrecy of President Bidya Devi Bhandari, which was administered by then Chief Justice Parajuli.
Stating that the issue needs to be interpreted by the apex court, a single bench of Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada directed the apex court administration to register the case forwarded by advocate Narayan Kharel. Earlier, the apex court administration had refused to register the petition.