KATHMANDU, July 7: Most of the complaints submitted at the Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee (PHSC) against Acting Chief Justice Sushila Karki have raised questions about her competence.
The House committee had asked for sealed complaints against Karki and these were opened on Tuesday.
The committee has received six complaints, copies of which were received by Republica through a source at the committee. Most of the complaints raised questions about the competence of Acting Chief Justice Karki.
One complaint alleges that Karki, who is now leading the judiciary as acting chief justice, has been following directives from former chief justice Kalyan Shrestha, even down to the publishing of the cause list at the Supreme Court. It is also claimed that Karki is biased towards some advocates, and has asked the House committee to check the consistency of her judgments.
Another complaint has questioned a recent order from Karki's bench in the case of Shanta Dixit, wife of Sajha Yatayat Chairman Kanak Mani Dixit, versus Lok Man Singh Karki, chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). "She has given an arbitrary verdict in a recent case despite a party to the case informed the bench that she is related to him," reads the complaint.
Acting Chief Justice Karki had rejected a plea by CIAA chief Karki requesting her not to entertain the case at her bench since he was related to her. Acting Chief Justice Karki had rejected the plea, pointing out that the case was brought against him in his capacity as the chief of a constitutional body and also that the CIAA chief's claim did not establish that his kinship with the acting CJ entailed any inheritance rights.
A complaint has also alleged that Karki was biased in cases relating to the ruling CPN-UML as well as raised questions concerning her property.
Another complaint claimed that the Constitutional Council and Judicial Council were unconstitutional and so any recommendations made by them should not be entertained by the House committee.
Yet another complaint has cited a verdict from a bench of Karki and then justice Balaram KC in May 2010 to argue that Karki lacked the competence to be chief justice. The complaint has cited the case of Rajiv Gurung versus Nita Gurung, in which the bench rejected a DNA report presented at the court on the ground that the sample collection process was not up to standard. The complaint argued that the ruling was a challenge to a scientific test conducted in the presence of court staff and scientists from the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology as it then was.
One complaint alleged a lack of consistency in her verdicts and claimed that she made arbitrary decisions without looking at the evidence and documents presented to the court.
Meanwhile, the PHSC has received two complaints against Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, who has been recommended for the post of chief election commissioner. In both complaints, it is argued that a case is sub judice at the Supreme Court against his appointment a second time as commissioner and that he should not be appointed chief commissioner until the court gives its verdict in the case. Yadav was appointed commissioner at the Election Commission in 2012 for a second consecutive term.