Saturday, May 12, 2007

SC to test legality of judges in probe panel

The Supreme Court said it would test the constitutionality of the appointment of two judges in the Rautahat massacre probe panel.
The government on March 23 appointed Patan Appellate Court Judge Hari Prasad Ghimire and Jumla District Court Judge Ananta Raj Dumre members of the panel investigating the killing of 29 Maoists in Gaur on March 22.
A single bench of Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi said the appointment of the judges raised a constitutional question.
The bench observed that the government must seek the consent of the Judicial Council before appointing a judge in such panels. It said that in this case the government did not consult the Judicial Council.
“Since it is a constitutional question, the rejection order in the writ petition passed by the Registrar cannot exist,” the bench held. The bench also ordered the case be produced in the bench for a final hearing.
Claiming that the government has no authority to appoint any judge without the consent and advice of the JC, advocate Rajiv Banstola had filed the writ.
However, Registrar of the Supreme Court Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena had refused to register the case.
The petitioner demanded a certiorari order to scrap the government’s decision to appoint the judges. It also demanded an explanation on how the government appointed the judges and how the Chief Justice approved the decision without producing the issue before the Judicial Council.

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