Tainted judge Adhikari resigns over controversial judgment
August 20, 2019 07:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, August 20: Expressing dissatisfaction over the investigation into his controversial judgment, tainted judge Jiwan Hari Adhikri, who was serving at the Pokhara High Court, tendered his resignation on Monday.
Adhikari decided to put in his papers stating that although he never faced any controversy in his 40-year long career, some people tried to drag him into controversy since a few months before his retirement. Adhikari forwarded his resignation to Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana.
Adhikari was taking his compulsory retirement six months later. But he tendered his resignation after recording his statement at a probe panel formed to investigate his "erroneous performance" while serving at the Pokhara High Court.
On July 30, the Judicial Council (JC) headed by Chief Justice Rana had formed the probe panel headed by Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla to investigate three judges including Adhikari at the Pokhara High Court.
The Malla-led panel had been investigating Adhikari, judge Nara Bahadur Shahi and Ramchandra Raya Yadav for the orders they had issued in relation to a tax evasion case concerning Gorkha Brewery, which has allegedly evaded millions of rupees in taxes.
The JC had formed the probe panel days after the Supreme Court ordered action against the judges for going beyond their jurisdiction. On July 24, a single bench of Chief Justice Rana had ordered the JC to take action against the high court judges for issuing orders that go beyond their jurisdiction.
The CJ's bench had also stayed an interim order issued by the judges and directed that action be taken against them for unduly favoring Gorkha Brewery over the imposition of excise duty by the Inland Revenue Office in Bharatpur.
Pokhara High Court Judge Yadav had first issued an interim order which was later upheld by a division bench of Judges Adhikari and Shahi.
Gorkha Brewery should have registered its writ petition at Patan High Court or its Hetauda bench, as the firm is registered in Province 3. But it had filed its petition at Pokhara High Court which then ruled in its favor. This raised questions over the judges themselves.
The issue came to light after Bharatpur Inland Revenue Office challenged the Pokhara High Court order at the apex court, claiming that the high court had acted erroneously.