PHC to conduct hearing for CJ nominee Rana today

Published On: December 30, 2018 11:03 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 30: The Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) is conducting the hearing for Chief Justice nominee Cholendra Sumsher Rana today afternoon.

A meeting of the PHC is taking place today at 2 pm where Rana will respond to lawmakers' queries. Serious allegations were registered against Rana at the committee.

If he is confirmed by the PHC today, Rana will be assuming the charge of chief justice on January 1 as the incumbent Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra is retiring on age ground.

Various complainants have questioned decisions taken by Rana while serving on the bench, including at the Supreme Court, the Special Court and the-then appellate courts. Some complaints also accuse him of taking decisions on various controversial issues under the influence of financial gain and the sway of the powerful.

Most of the complaints question Rana's decision at the SC in favor of erstwhile princess Prerana Shah in an ownership dispute over 15 ropani of land between her and the Nepal Trust . Some have accused Rana of receiving a bribe of Rs 150 million in the US through a middleman.

In another complaint, Rana is accused of purchasing land at Thamel worth multiple billions from the former king of Mustang, with the help of his brother Prabhu Samser and through manipulation of a court case. Another complainant has accused Rana of ruling in favor of allowing non-registered casinos in Kathmandu to operate, in return for financial benefits through his brother Prabhu.

Altogether nine complaints were registered at the PHC against Rana. Some of the complaints have demanded his impeachment and others have demanded investigations into the legal and moral grounds for his controversial decisions. There is also a call for bringing him under investigations for money laundering prior to making any decision about his nomination to head the judiciary.

One complaint has accused Rana of acquitting gamblers while he was at the Appellate Court Biratnagar, terming the card game of marriage an 'intellectual' game. Complaints from an action committee trying to preserve the historic Chapakaiya pond in Birgunj accuse him of transferring the public pond into private property.

Alleging that Rana is close to the royal family and the abolished monarchy, one complainant has claimed that Rana's confirmation as CJ will pose a threat to democracy. Complainants have also accused him of encroaching on the jurisdiction of parliament while issuing an order from the SC against the impeachment of then CJ Sushila Karki.

Complainants have further stated that former chief justices Ram Kumar Shrestha and Sushila Karki and Justice Tarka Raj Bhatta had recommended action against Rana for his role in giving a clean chit to former ministers JP Gupta, Khum Bahadur Khadka and other powerful politicians while he was at the Special Court.



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