Look beyond seniority to pick CJ: AG
Attorney General Yagya Murti Banjade said the next Chief Justice should have a capacity to steer clear the judiciary of the controversies dogging it.Talking to this daily, Banjade said a judge with a clean image should be appointed the next CJ. Debate is on in the legal circles regarding the appointment of the next CJ as incumbent CJ Dilip Kumar Paudel will take compulsory retirement on September 7.
Five Supreme Court Justices — Kedar Prasad Giri, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Anup Raj Sharma, Ram Prasad Shrestha and Khil Raj Regmi — are in line for the post. Each has more than three years of experience in the SC, a condition set by Article 103 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007 to be the CJ.“I’ll make my recommendation to the PM before the appointment, but I cannot make my choice public,” Banjade added.
“We should not ignore anyone without valid reasons,” he said.According to a source close to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, the process to appoint the CJ would begin in the first week of August so that the parliamentary hearing would be over before Justice Paudel retires.“The Constitutional Council should consider a person who can lead the judiciary through difficult times,” Banjade added. Referring to the practice of choosing the CJ solely on the basis of seniority, Banjade said not just seniority, merit and clean image should be also considered.”
Interpreting the spirit of Article 103, Banjade said the Constitution provided discretionary powers to the Constitutional Council headed by the PM to choose anyone from among those eligible for the post of CJ. “Article 103 bars the council to look outside the SC to fill CJ’s post,” he added.