NC, Maoist Center file impeachment motion against CJ

Published On: April 30, 2017 09:20 PM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

KATHMANDU, April 30: A group of lawmakers from the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center)  registered an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sushila Karki at the parliament secretariat on Sunday.

The move has triggered a series of major political developments, including the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi and the decision of ruling coalition partner Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) to call an emergency meeting. The meeting will decide whether to quit the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government. NC also called an emergency meeting  in the evening to assess the changed political situation.

These  developments come a day after the ruling and  agitating Madhes-based parties agreed to register a supplementary constitution amendment bill in addition to the 11-point  amendment bill registered earlier in  parliament and to expedite its endorsement so as to bring the Madhesi parties on board the polls. 

NC Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha, Maoist Center Chief Whip Tek Bahadur Basnet and Attorney General Raman Shrestha were among those reaching  the Parliament Secretariat to register the impeachment motion. According to the Speaker's press adviser, Basudev (Babin) Sharma, the impeachment motion proposed by NC lawmaker Meen Bishwakarma and seconded by Maoist Center lawmaker Tek Bahadur Basnet is signed by a total 249 lawmakers. 

The impeachment motion has made nine various allegations against Karki, including failure to honor the independence of the judiciary, encroaching upon the jurisdiction of the executive branch and ignoring evidence while deciding verdicts on writ petitions related to the appointment of the police chief.

The ruling parties were miffed with CJ Karki, especially after the Supreme Court revoked the government's decision to promote Jaya Bahadur Chand to inspector general of Nepal Police. The impeachment motion that leaves CJ Karki suspended effective from Sunday  comes two days before crucial hearings on a writ petition filed by DIG Nawaraj Silwal demanding his own appointment as police chief.

Following the apex court ruling staying the government's appointment of  Chanda as police chief, the government has already picked Prakash Aryal as the new police chief. 

Officials at the Parliament Secretary had reached the President's Office to inform the president about the impeachment motion shortly after it was registered in  parliament. The Constitution of Nepal 2015 states that the chief justice is automatically suspended if one-fourth of the total number of lawmakers in the House brings an impeachment motion. 

The lawmakers can bring a motion of impeachment  “on the ground of his or her failure to fulfill his or her duties of office because of serious violation of this Constitution and the law, incompetence or misconduct or failure to discharge the duties of the office honestly, or serious violation of the code of conduct.” If the motion is passed by at least a two-thirds majority of the members of  parliament, the person concerned  shall be relieved of his or her office.

A copy of the impeachment motion registered at the Parliament Secretariat.

Attorney General Raman Shrestha coming out from Speaker's Chamber after registering the motion.

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