KATHMANDU, Dec 7: Chairman of the main opposition party, CPN-UML, KP Oli has hinted that his party is not in favor of impeaching Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana.
In response to the demand of a delegation of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) that reached his residence in Balkot, Bhaktapur, to solicit UML's support to oust Chief Justice Rana from power on Tuesday, Chairman Oli said that the impeachment of Chief Justice Rana alone would not resolve the problems seen at the Supreme Court. He argued that although the UML is also in favor of bringing reforms to the judiciary, the demands raised by the NBA are incomplete to achieve the goal of bringing reforms to the judiciary.
The NBA, which is the umbrella organization of lawyers across the country, has been staging protests outside the Supreme Court main building for the past 40 days demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Rana. As Rana has refused to yield to their demands, the agitating lawyers have held meetings with the top leaders of major political parties demanding their initiative to impeach him.
The NBA has alleged that Chief Justice Rana had sought his share in the constitutional appointments and in the appointment of ministers and issued a number of controversial decisions under financial influence. The lawyers' body has also accused Rana of contributing to erode the credibility of the judiciary as a whole by his controversial decisions.
"The demands you have raised are only partial. They need to be complete. Our support is there to bring reforms in the judiciary. The judiciary has to correct itself. The role of the judiciary has not been what it should have been. Ordinary citizens are suffering because of the middlemen. People who can buy justice are in position to get justice now," said Oli.
"It is equally important to see how prepared we are to bring reforms in the judiciary. Political parties should also correct themselves in order to bring reforms to the judiciary. Justices also need to correct themselves and in some cases I see the need for you intellectuals to improve as well. Resignation of Cholendra SJB Rana or impeaching Rana alone would not bring reforms to the judiciary," Oli further said.
NBA officials argued that Chief Justice Rana is liable to impeachment as there is evidence that he was personally involved in passing verdicts after bargaining with the victim parties. The NBA had submitted a memorandum with 17 reasons to Oli, explaining why Rana should be impeached.
Chairman Oli also expressed his dissatisfaction over the decision of the Supreme Court to give mandamus to appoint Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the prime minister. He argued that the apex court had issued the order even as there are no provisions whatsoever in the constitution to issue mandamus to make a person the prime minister of the country.