KATHMANDU, April 8: Newly elected president of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Chandeshwar Shrestha has called upon the Judicial Council headed by the chief justice to rethink on its recent selection of judges for the Supreme Court and high courts.
The NBA president called the JC to exercise proper judgment while making recommendation. He also urged the JC to make a roster of eligible persons and take decision to choose them impartially.
“There must be a roster of eligible candidates,” Shrestha told Republica, adding, “So that there should not be any controversy on the appointment of judges.”
The recent selection of five justices for the Supreme Court and nineteen judges for high courts courted controversy as most of the appointees were selected as per a power sharing agreement among major political parties including CPN and Nepali Congress as well as the office bearers of the JC and the relatives of former chief justices, showing the highest level of nepotism and favoritism.
“I have not yet officially assumed my duties as we will join office two weeks later. So, we have scheduled to discuss the selection of judges on Monday at the Supreme Court Bar Association,” Shrestha added. The bar body has called its advisory committee meeting which comprises of its former chairmen, secretaries and senior advocates to discuss the issue.
“In my personal opinion, it would be better for the JC to rethink its decision because it has become a controversial decision,” Shrestha said, adding, “It must consider whether this decision would hinder the public faith toward the judiciary or not.”
According to Shrestha, if the JC is not ready to admit its mistake, the parliamentary hearings committee has the power to rectify the mistake of the JC.
Shrestha also added that the hearings committee has the authority to decide on the recommendation based on the complaints and the public opinions reflected in the media as well. According to him, the hearings committee can question the JC to justify the recommendation and reject it if it does not see any ground for approval.
Stating that the JC's decisions have been courting controversy since the last few years, he urged the judges appointing authority to be sensitive in the future while selecting judges.