Sunday, April 29, 2007

CJ appoints wife as section officer
Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel has appointed his wife Premlata Poudel to the post of section officer at his private secretariat at Baluwatar, which some judges say is morally questionable ekantipur reports.
The appointment letter undersigned by the Chief Justice shows that she has been working as a third class gazetted officer since the day after he assumed his post on July 30, 2005.
"You have been appointed to the post of Section Officer (third class gazetted officer) at the Private Secretariat of the Chief Justice at Baluwatar until another order. Please execute assigned work with honesty and loyalty," reads the appointment letter. As a section officer she is entitled to a monthly salary of Rs 9,000.
According to the law on terms and conditions for judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice can appoint an under-secretary, a section officer, a technical section officer and two peons to his private secretariat. The appointment of Mrs Poudel is, therefore, not legally questionable. "However, the state has given these privileges to the Chief Justice on the assumption that these officials may have to work round-the-clock to help the Chief Justice in his day to day work," said a Supreme Court justice.
Former secretary of the Judicial Council Kashi Raj Dahal argues that the privilege is not given to the Chief Justice so that he can appoint his own wife. "It is a question of morality," he said.
Efforts over the last two weeks to get a comment from the Chief Justice failed.
Some Supreme Court justices told The Kathmandu Post that the CJ should not have appointed his wife as section officer since she already enjoys previleges from the state as the spouse of the Chief Justice.

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