Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lawyers boycott Jha's bench
Lawyers of Morang and Sunsari districts today decided to boycott the bench of Biratnagar Appellate Court justice, Paramananda Jha, for an indefinite period. Jha was recently demoted as a Supreme Court judge and transferred to the Biratnagar Appellate Court.A meeting of Morang and Sunsari-based law professionals here today decided to boycott his bench.
The Appellate Court Bar Association, Biratnagar, the Morang District Court Bar Association and Sunsari District Court Bar Association decided to boycott Jha’s bench and demanded Immediate ‘punishment’ for Jha.Jha, who joined the office here yesterday, had called lawyers for a meeting today. However, the lawyers decided to ignore him.
Suresh Lal Shrestha, chairperson of Biratnagar Appellate Bar Association, said: “He cannot be involved in any bench until he receives a ‘clean chit’.Jha was involved in a controversial verdict of releasing an alleged notorious drug smuggler Dil Bahadur Gurung on June 24, 2005, on bail, when he was a ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court. Citing the decision as false and a controversial one, he was demoted to the Appellate Court from the Supreme Court.
Gurung was arrested when trying to smuggle 669 kilograms of hemp illegally to Canada. Following some evidence, the Kathmandu District Court and the Patan Appellate Court had ordered to keep him in jail to proceed with his case. However, Jha had acquitted him on bail.
The Judicial Council had formed a probe committee headed by Supreme Court justice Anup Raj Sharma to probe into the controversial decision regarding Gurung’s acquittal and the panel had said that Gurung had been illegally acquitted by Jha. The committee submitted a report in 2005 saying that Jha was guilty and the Judicial Council dismissed him from his post.

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