KATHMANDU, July 30: The Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee (PHSC) may take a decision Monday on whether to endorse the name of acting Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee as the Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court.
“We have been discussing the matter. We will also hold a meeting of the PHSC tomorrow at 2 pm in order to discuss the issue,” senior-most member of the PHSC Laxman Lal Karna told Republica. According to him, the PHSC members discussed the issue on Sunday as well.
Since the PHSC members found some suspicious clues about the academic certificates of Joshee, the process of endorsing his name could not be carried out immediately after the parliamentary hearing conducted on Thursday.
“We have called the meeting for 2 pm on Monday to take a decision,” Yogesh Bhattarai, another member of the PHSC said, adding, “Most probably, we will take the decision to endorse his name as the CJ but if we members are not convinced about his certificates, we may also form a sub-committee to conduct an inquiry.”
According to him, if such a sub-committee is formed, it will be coordinated by a member of the committee and will probe Joshee's academic credentials.
The PHSC members did not take any decision following the hearing on Thursday as they doubted the authenticity of Joshee's academic certificates. After discussing with Joshee the complaints filed against him during the hearing on Thursday, the meeting of the PHSC was scheduled for Friday to take a decision but the meeting could not be held. So the meeting was scheduled for Sunday.
PHSC members found some "discrepancies" while cross-checking the symbol number mentioned on the SLC certificate submitted to the committee by Joshee. When they found some conflicting clues about his claim and the official records concerning his SLC certificate, the committee could not announce its decision.
Refuting allegations concerning his educational certificates, Joshee had submitted a copy of his progress report to the PHSC during the hearings Thursday. The hearings committee meeting was adjourned till Friday without reaching any decision. Lawmakers had sought time for further discussions.
PHSC member Bhattarai claimed that they would not consider that Joshee had worked for decades as a judge and a lecturer at a college and if they found any discrepancy, they would not endorse his name. There are rumors that ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has informally advised Joshee to step down but this could not be verified independently.
“We are independent so we are not working according to the direction of the PM. We are able to take a decision without his direction as well,” said Bhattarai.