Joint regulations clear way for parliamentary hearings committee

Published On: June 23, 2018 05:15 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, June 23: A joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly on Friday endorsed the joint parliamentary regulations, finally paving the way for the formation of the much awaited parliamentary hearings committee. 

In the absence of the Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee, the recommendation of Deepak Raj Joshee for chief justice has been awaiting parliamentary approval.

Appointment of the new chief justice has stalled for the last three months following a six-month delay in the formation of the House committees after parliament commenced business. 

The joint regulations provision a 15-member hearings committee as a joint committee comprising three members from the upper house and 12 from the lower. The hearings committee will have a 45-day deadline for concluding a hearings process . If the committee fails to take its decision within the deadline, the government can appoint the recommended name even without the parliamentary hearings. 

The hearings committee can reject any recommendation for hearings, through a two-third majority of the committee. But the support of over one-third of the 15-member committee can approve the candidate in accordance with the regulations. 

In the absence of the hearings committee, the appointments of the chief justice, the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and office bearers at various other constitutional bodies remains stalled for months. 

The joint regulations also state that a referendum motion should be endorsed by a two-thirds majority of a joint meeting of the total number of members of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral parliament. 

A week after the House of Representatives and National Assembly endorse the regulations, a joint meeting of both houses endorses regulations for the bicameral parliament through a majority. The regulations provision the mandatory presence of 51 percent of the committee members for a quorum of the joint house committees. Under the regulations, the Monitoring, Implementation and Evaluation Committee on the Principle Directives, Policy and Responsibility of the State is also provisioned as a joint house committee .

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