KHIL RAJ REGMI: Justice Denied?

As all his predecessors, chairman of the Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi, who claims to have held a successful and historic election to CA, is leaving the prime minister's residence with some kind of a humiliation

Feb. 16, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No. -16 Feb. 14- 2014 (Falgun 02, 2070)

When he found no body speaking any word in favor of his government and his work, chairman of the Interim Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi spoke by himself defending his performance and role he played as the government head.

In his twenty-minutes long nationwide broadcast delivered just an hour before the oath taking by new prime minister Sushil Koirala at the presidential palace, chairman Regmi also announced his resignation from the post of Chief Justice, ending speculations about the possibility of his return to the court and confrontation with Nepal Bar Association, which announced protests in case of his return.

Although outgoing chairman Regmi, a soft-spoken career judge, announced this decision two days ago with his closest lawyers in Baluwatar, he formalized this through the nationwide broadcasting.

Former chief justice Regmi, who reluctantly accepted the position, has also asked leaders of political parties that, as he fulfilled his commitment by holding the elections, now the ball was in the court of political leaders to draft a new constitution within a year. Although he was expressing anger, he used very well written words. "Although I took the charge to hold the elections as per the insistence of major political parties, I have done what I was assigned, and I want to announce my resignation from the chief justice post now," said Regmi.

If politics of Nepal is any indication, it shows how cruel it is. As it is said the state has no heart, the state machinery forgot the person who was so important until a few days ago.  No prime minister in Nepal has ever got a graceful exit from Baluwatar. For centuries, Nepal's power class has followed the same practice of worshipping the new prime minister and ignoring the outgoing. Khil Raj Regmi was no exception.

Although he agreed to take the charge following intense pressure from the leaders of four parties, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and United Madheshi Front, he did not find any words of gratitude expressed from them. As he failed to secure any support from political parties, Chief Justice Regmi also lost his relations with his fellow lawyers, who opposed his decision to lead the election government as a sitting chief justice.

When Nepali Congress leader Sushil Koirala was preparing to take the oath of office as prime minister amidst a fanfare on February 10, 2014, Regmi was preparing to leave the Baluwatar with quite a sober tone. He accepted the challenges and completed the task assigned by tje four parties. However, when the parliament elected new prime minister, no word of praise or even recognition came for Regmi's role.

As Regmi, who was made the chairman of Council of Ministers in political circumstances by violating all constitutional and political norms, was unable to deny the offer, he had to leave the prime minister's residence in a similar circumstance, with nobody there to shed tears.  As a former justice, who delivered thousands of petitions to give justice to the people, he found justice eluding for himself.

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