Thursday, July 28, 2005


Who will be next Chief Justice ?

Kathmandu, July28- After the controversial in retirement date ,Chief Justice Hari Prasad Sharma's will retire on July 29 is tomorrow . In Nijamati Kitabkhana (Civil Personnel Records) data, he had to retired on July 19 , but he did not accept that .
Speaker Tara Nath Ranabhat has categorically said that there is no alternative other than to appoint an acting chief justice after Chief Justice (CJ), Hari Prasad Sharma's, term ends on July 29.The recommendation of the Constitutional Council (CC) is required for the king while appointing a new chief justice. However, in the absence of the prime minister, who heads the Constitutional Council, no such recommendation can be made.When asked about the possibility of invoking Article 127 to appoint the new CJ, he said, "That option is not available till Article 87 (4) of the Constitution remains active."
Confusion still prevails over how to appoint next chief justice, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Niranjan Kumar Thapa said."There is no clear-cut way for appointing next Chief Justice," Thapa told .
The Constitutional Council (CC) has hit a virtual deadlock with the Speaker of the House of Representatives refusing to attend a CC meeting to recommend a name for the next chief justice (CJ) citing the absence of a sitting prime minister, who constitutionally chairs the meeting. According to sources, Speaker Taranath Ranabhat has rejected the government's suggestion that the CJ could chair the CC in the absence of a prime minister. To allow the CJ to chair the CC, the government had suggested invoking either Article 127 of the constitution or preparing working procedure of the CC under Article 117 (3) and (4). According to sources, the Speaker has rejected both options, terming them unconstitutional but suggested appointing an acting chief justice.
Constitutionally, the recommendation of the CC is necessary for the king while appointing a CJ. The top judicial post becomes vacant on July 29 when the CJ Hari Prasad Sharma, retires on grounds of age.The CC is deadlocked due to the Speaker's stance; hence, the CC meeting has not been called as of Tuesday. The government's Chief Secretary, Dr Bimal Koirala, who is supposed to call the meeting of the CC after "consultation with prime minister", also confirmed that the CC meeting has not yet been called.Government sources said that the Speaker's stance has heightened the possibility of the king invoking Article 127 to give authority to the incumbent chief justice to call and head the CC meeting to recommend a name.
There is still question arising who will be the next Chief Justice.

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