KATHMANDU, Sept 22: Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has decided to pile pressure on seniormost justice Deepak Raj Joshee to resign, prior to bringing an impeachment motion against him in parliament.
Though the party collected signatures of about a hundred of its lawmakers on Thursday for registering an impeachment motion against Joshee, it decided to wait to see if he resigns and impeachment would not be necessary. But, Joshee has said he would not resign and is ready to face impeachment motion.
“Questions have been raised about his judicial decisions, academic certificates and leadership quality during his parliamentary hearing. It is immoral for the justice to continue his job even after all this,” said an NCP lawmaker requesting anonymity.
Another senior leader of the party also added that if Joshee does not pave the way, the parliament will follow its course.
Minister for Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Joshee has asked Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra not to convene meeting of the Judicial Council (JC) until the Joshee issue is settled, a source said. Mishra, who heads the JC, has not convened meeting of the JC after his appointment to the post. Law Minister Dhakal and seniormost justice Joshee both are ex-officio members of the JC. The source further added that Dhakal has told Mishra that the former would not attend a JC meeting attended by someone, whose integrity has been questioned by parliament.
Deputy parliamentary party leader of the NCP, Subas Nembang, also held meeting with his party chairman and Prime Minister KP Oli on Thursday afternoon after the party collected signatures from its lawmakers purportedly for bringing an impeachment motion. According to the sources, Nembang suggested to Oli not to bring an impeachment without preparing strong ground for it as "such a move could spark public criticism".
“It may also be an ethical problem for the party because the hearings committee's rejection means he is not qualified also for justice. Why did the party remain silent for a week after he resumed work and why wasn't an impeachment motion brought immediately?” said another party leader, who was not satisfied with the party decision.
Some NCP leaders had asked Joshee to resign after he was rejected for chief justice by the parliamentary hearings committee in August. But instead of resigning the post, Joshee went on a month's leave and resumed office ignoring the threat of impeachment.
NCP lawmakers in the parliamentary hearings committee had voted for Joshee's rejection on August 3, citing controversy over his academic credentials and leadership skills. But, opposition Nepali Congress (NC) had opposed the decision, accusing the NCP of taking decision without strong logic.