Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Panel split over new CJ
The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) Tuesday failed to agree on the next Chief Justice (CJ) recommended by the Constitutional Council with the committee members expressing divided opinion whether or not they should give a final go ahead to Kedar Prasad Giri to head the Judiciary.
The PHSC should come to a unanimous decision whether to accept any proposal or not. The Legislature Parliament Regulations, however, do not bar a person from being appointed to any constitutional body including ambassadorial appointments despite the divided opinion among the PHSC members. The procedures are such that the recommendation is sent back to the Council, which will have a final say whether or not to approve the initial recommendation, according to the Legislature Parliament Regulations.
The PHSC meeting held today decided to forward the report and information received on the recommendation for a new CJ to the Constitutional Council, as the Committee could not unanimously agree on Giri's name.
As per the provision, the Committee has decided to send the proceedings, actions and complaints filed by the public and other reports on the nomination of Giri to the Constitutional Council, parliamentarian Amod Prasad Upadhyaya, who chaired the meeting said.
It is the first time in Nepalese history the parliamentary committee conducted a hearing on the complaints against the person recommended for the coveted post of CJ. He is second in rank after Prime Minister as per the provision of the Interim Constitution.
Parliamentarians Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, Tek Bahadur Chokhyal, Dr. Minendra Rijal, and Gopal Man Shrestha supported Giri's appointment while parliamentarians Lilamani Pokhrel, Pashupati Chaulagai, Dilaram Acharya, Khimlal Devkota, Astalaxmi Shakya and Janardan Sharma opposed Giri's recommendation. Parliamentarian Nawaraj Subedi had expressed a written dissent against the recommendation.
Talking to the press, Amod Prasad Upadhyaya said that the agreement and disagreement on the name was personal rather than of their respective parties. A total of 16 complaints were filed against Giri on behalf of the public, when the committee had called for the filing of complaints through different media.
The PHSC has been discussing on the complaints filed against Giri for the last 10 days while a nine-member committee headed by parliamentarian Dilendra Prasad Badu had submitted a report after studying on the complaints filed against Giri on Sunday.
Presenting himself before the PHSC at 12:15 noon acting CJ Giri greeted the parliamentarians without maintaining eye contact and listened to the questions raised by the parliamentarians.
Upadhyaya from the chair permitted the parliamentarians to put forward their queries to Giri who has been recommended to lead the independent judiciary.
Giri furnished his replies to the queries raised at the end of the questioning by the parliamentarians. He claimed that the complaints filed against him were baseless and said that he was committed to the interim constitution formulated as per the spirit of people's movement. "I came here honoring the rules and sovereignty of the parliament. We have already taken oath of office and secrecy before the parliament, " he said in his reply.
Giri said the bench he headed had 'boldly' decided to dissolve the Royal Commission for Control of Corruption (RCCC) formed by the erstwhile royal regime and claimed that the Court has not ordered to remove Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills from the list of bank defaulters. The media had reported wrongly regarding the issue, he said. "I had overstayed in America for 15 days, as I could not return home after getting feelers that there were disgruntled groups who were targeting me over my verdict to dissolve the RCCC."
He said that the rules and regulations related to judiciary should be amended as per the aspiration of Loktantrik system. "Nowadays, I have stopped scanning through the media contents as they were more inclined to torture somebody instead of following the principle of healthy journalism."
Meanwhile, the PHSC has decided to conduct hearing on the complaints filed against persons who were recommended by the Constitutional Council to represent different diplomatic missions last Wednesday.
By Liladhar Upadhyaya @ gorkhapatra

No comments: