Supreme Court is clearly divided into two factions. Siding with justice Cholendra Sumsher Rana, five justices Hari Krishna Karki, Sapana Pradhan Malla, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai, Ishwor Khatiwada, Vishwambhar Prasad Shrestha did not attend the court hearing. Justices Anil Kumar Sinha, Dipak Raj Joshi and Prakash Singh Raut maintain neutrality but their benches also disrupts because of other five.
Five Supreme Court justices have decided to boycott court hearings, stating that Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli did not agree to stay away from adjudication as per their suggestion.
Justice Rana had boycotted the seven-member extended full bench, stating that CJ Parajuli should have retired on August 5, 2017, throwing the Supreme Court into a turmoil.
Justice Rana, one of the seven justices on the extended full bench assigned to hear the contempt of court cases against Dr Govinda KC and Kantipur daily’s managers and journalists, boycotted the bench, stating that Chief Justice Parajuli should have retired on August 5, 2017, on the basis of his age. The bench did not hear the two cases and it is not clear when the next hearing will be scheduled.
Before the seven-member bench could start hearing, Rana read out a statement to the press claiming that Chief Justice Parajuli was supposed to retire on August 5, 2017, and it would be against moral principles and legal provisions to sit on the bench formed by him.
Meanwhile, the bar units are also divided over the current situation in the judiciary. Issuing a press release, the Supreme Court Bar Association on Tuesday called on CJ Parajuli to separate himself from all judicial tasks for the sake of protecting judicial integrity.
“Even though the matter of his date of birth and other certificates were settled by the Judicial Council and he was appointed with the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, he should leave off judicial and administrative tasks on moral grounds,” the press release jointly issued by Bar Association President Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay and Secretary Anju Upreti Dhakal said.
The lawyers' body also sought action against Rana for breaching the decorum of the court and the discipline of judges. The Nepal Bar Association yesterday called for action against Rana for breaching the discipline of judges.
Issuing a joint press release, the official trade unions of the Supreme Court on Tuesday urged to maintain judicial independence, the integrity of judges and the rights of service seekers.
“Otherwise we will be compelled to launch programs for demanding resignations of the judicial leadership and judges who have been boycotting the bench,” says the statement signed by Hari Bhattarai, Dal Bahadur Bajimaya, Prakash Parajuli, Prabhakar Mallik and Ghanaraj Pokhrel.