Karki-related SC hearings to conclude Friday

Published On: January 6, 2017 07:44 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: As the final hearings on the review petition over the Supreme Court verdict to uphold the appointment of suspended CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki continued Thursday, lawyers in Karki’s defense argued that Karki is eligible to hold the post and said that the court’s decision to review own verdict was flawed.

Senior advocates Sushil Panta, Baburam Kunwar, Surendra Mahato, Mahadev Yadav defended Karki claiming that he has experience of 20 years in the required field to hold the position of CIAA chief.

Except for advocate Mahato, all the other lawyers focused on claiming that the decision of the apex court to review its own verdict was flawed. Kunwar, Panta and Yadav said that the apex court took as precedent a case related to the National Human Rights

Commission to reopen the petition against Karki and argued that NHRC and the Rayamajhi Commission are different entities. They argued that NHRC is a constitutional body while the Rayamajhi Commission formed to probe the misuse of power during the April 2006 movement could not be considered as entities of equal legal standing. “The review petition should have been rejected by the court but the court reopened it based on a wrong precedent,” argued Kunwar.

The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for Friday. As the bench has urged the lawyers from Karki’s side to rest their case within half an hour on Friday, it is expected that the court would either give its verdict or fix a date to give its verdict on Friday.

A full bench of justices Ishwar Khatiwada, Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Sinha has been conducting continuous hearings in the cases concerning suspended CIAA chief Karki.

Earlier,  lawyers for the plaintiff had argued that Karki’s appointment as CIAA chief was unconstitutional as he lacked the qualifications mentioned in the Interim Constitution, which was then in force.

The Supreme Court on September 17 decided to revisit its previous verdict on the writ petition challenging Karki’s appointment as CIAA chief. Advocate Om Prakash Aryal had filed two writ petitions in May, 2014 -- one demanding a court order to stop the government from appointing Karki as CIAA chief, and a subsequent one demanding annulment of the appointment decision.

The division bench of Justices Gopal Parajuli and Om Prakash Mishra had quashed both the writ petitions on September 24, 2014. Advocate Aryal then filed a review petition, to which the apex court gave its nod.

An impeachment motion against Karki has been registered in parliament by lawmakers of the CPN-UML and some lawmakers of the CPN (Maoist Center). However, the parliament has yet to discuss the motion. Following the registration of the impeachment motion on October 29, Karki has been suspended from his position.

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