Sat, 28 Jan 2023

Kathmandu [Nepal], December 7 (ANI): The impeachment motion earlier registered against Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana in Nepal parliament has now become inactive, the Parliament General Secretary, Dr Bharatraj Gautam announced issuing a notice on Wednesday.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Gautam issued a notice stating the impeachment motion has become inactive and sent the letter to suspended Chief Justice Rana that invited criticism and protest from Nepal Bar Association as well as the government.

Rana, who is due to retire as Nepal's Chief Justice on December 13 has been kept under tight security and observation at his government residence in Baluwatar, a residential area of Nepal.

General Secretary Gautam also sent a letter to the President's Office, the Prime Minister's Office, the Office of the Council of Ministers, the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Court, the Judicial Council and CJ Rana, informing them that the impeachment motion against CJ Rana has become inactive.

"The earlier letter from the (parliament's) general secretary that had barred honourable Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana from performing his duties has become ineffective with the completion of the new House of Representatives elections on November 20," the letter read.

"The impeachment motion has also been rendered ineffective as the process did not move ahead even after the Impeachment Motion Recommendation Committee submitted its report following an investigation after the motion was filed and initial discussions were held at the House of Representatives," the letter added further.

A writ petition requesting not to enforce the letter from the Federal Parliament Secretariat about the impeachment of suspended Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana has been filed at the Supreme Court as Rana prepares to return to the court.

Senior advocate Purnaman Shakya and others submitted a writ petition at SC on Wednesday urging it not to implement the Parliament Secretariat's verdict on the impeachment motion still under consideration by the parliament.

According to Ananta Raj Luitel, a member of the Supreme Bar Association, the writ has argued that the Parliament Secretariat's letter given to suspended CJ Rana is illegal and deserves cancellation by the apex court.

In response to the writ petition, the Apex court this evening summoned the federal parliament secretariat to inquire about the constitutional and legal bases of rendering the impeachment motion against CJ Rana inactive. The hearing on a writ petition filed by Shakya and others has been fixed for Friday, given that Thursday is a public holiday.

On February 1, 98 MPs registered a general indictment against Rana, saying that he was against the power coalition. In March, the impeachment was tabled in the Parliament and an 11-member recommendation committee was formed.

Majority members of the Impeachment Recommendation Committee had recommended impeaching suspended Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana.

The 11-member impeachment panel formed by the lower house completed its investigation and submitted it to House Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota. The submitted report has been endorsed by six members while the remaining five have differed citing reasons.

Earlier in the year, Chief Justice Rana had landed into criticism for attending a meeting of the Constitutional Council held after the issuance of an ordinance by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The ordinance issued back on the time had reduced the requirement of the opposition leader and house speaker in the meeting reducing the majority required to make the appointments.

The agitating advocates and justices also have accused Chief Justice Rana of "bench shopping" meaning hearings were held for purpose of making a favourable decision for one of the parties. There are also allegations that the court has failed to do any work of reform. Overall, there are allegations of anomalies, irregularities and corruption in the judiciary.

Chief Justice for the last time landed in controversy after his brother-in-law Gajendra Bahadur Hamal was appointed as a non-parliamentary minister to confirm the allegation that he was seeking a share.

Chief Justice Rana has maintained that he will not resign and that he is ready to face impeachment by parliament which is the constitutional process to remove the chief justice. (ANI)

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