Hours after the Supreme Court (SC)’s interim order, Nepal Chief Justice Sushila Karki has resumed the office from Friday evening.
The SC Friday afternoon had directed the Legislature-Parliament to put on hold the impeachment motion filed against Karki and reinstate her to the office.
“Chief Justice Karki will sign some official document today (Friday),” SC assistant spokesperson Bishwo Raj Paudel said, adding, “She will start the legal works from Sunday.”
The Supreme Court issued a stay order to parliament not to move forward with the impeachment motion brought against Chief Justice Sushila Karki, and to immediately allow her to resume work in her capacity as chief justice.
A single bench of Justice Cholendra SJB Rana said that the impeachment motion was prima facie against the spirit of the constitution.
Altogether 249 lawmakers from the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) had registered an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Karki at the Parliament Secretariat on Sunday.
Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar had scheduled a House meeting at 1 p.m. on Friday to table the impeachment motion. But the meeting could not proceed as the main opposition CPN-UML obstructed the well.
Meanwhile, the apex court, responding to the writ petition filed by Advocate Sunil Ranjan Singh, issued the stay order and ordered that Karki be allowed to resume work in her capacity as chief justice.
“The judiciary is a very sensitive organ of the state. An impeachment motion against a chief justice or judge could be considered constitutional, feasible and appropriate only if the conclusions of serious discussions at academic level and the level of civil society on whether or not the conduct, behavior and delivery of justice by the said chief justice or judge have been deviant are objective and backed by evidence. Unless such a situation obtains, an impeachment motion could not be considered to be in line with the spirit of the constitution,” states the court order.
“If the principle of independence of the judiciary is subjected to meddling, we cannot protect the rights of any state organ or of the citizen,” the court order further reads.
Justice Rana, in his order, said he felt saddened, moved and stressed while issuing the order and added that the impeachment motion cast a shadow on the face of all judges and damaged morale.
“I cannot imagine what would happen if there is no independence of the judiciary. I consider it my duty to see to it that the independence of the judiciary remains a constant for the sake of its dignity and safety and for the sake of future generations,” Justice Rana said.
The court has also issued show cause notices to all the defendants to present their arguments in the case within 15 days.
NC, Maoist Center to file review petition over SC’s stay order
Ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have decided to file review petition over the stay order issued by the Supreme Court against the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sushila Karki.
According to Maoist Center Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, the ruling coalition will file review petition on Sunday. The meeting between top leaders of the two parties at the Prime Minister Office, Singhadurbar took the decision to file review petition.
“With a view that the order to stop legislative proceedings from the Supreme Court has ignored the prerogative rights of the Parliament, the review petition will be filed on Sunday,” said Bhusal.
SC verdict startles ruling coalition
Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders are holding discussions over the interim order issued by the Supreme Court regarding the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sushila Karki.
According to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s press advisor Govinda Acharya, the leaders of two major ruling coalition partners are discussing the latest developments.
On the other hand, Maoist Centre spokesperson Pampha Bhusal has commented that the latest verdict of Supreme Court was an attack on the Parliament. She added that the leaders of the ruling coalition would come up with official statement on the matter.
She, however, clarified that the interim order would not affect the upcoming local level polls slated for May 14.
Commenting on the apex court’s verdict, NC lawmaker Min Biswokarma remarked that the verdict was unpredictable and appeared without any basis.
“Since the verdict had no basis there is no need to comment on it,” Biswokarma said.