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Nepali parliament to discuss impeachment motion to remove tainted chief justice

Nepali lawmakers are set to discuss the impeachment motion in Parliament against Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana, the suspended chief justice of the apex court, who has been facing serious charges of “corruption” and “making money through illegal means”

Mar 14, 2022
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Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana

Nepali lawmakers are set to discuss the impeachment motion in Parliament against Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana, the suspended chief justice of the apex court, who has been facing serious charges of “corruption” and “making money through illegal means”. Last month, 98 lawmakers from the ruling coalition had registered the impeachment motion against the tainted chief justice.

Justice Rana first came under the radar last year after allegedly demanding “his share” of power in the government led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, allegedly seeking cabinet posts for leaders close to him. Interestingly, the Deuba government came to power following a landmark judgment by a Supreme Court bench. Last month, Justice Rana was suspended. Several judges and lawyers across the country had last year also openly revolted against him.

The impeachment motion tabled in Parliament on Sunday accuses Justice Rana of not only using his family members but also justices and judges as middlemen to commit corruption and make money through illegal means, reported The Kathmandu Post.

Among other reasons mentioned in the impeachment motion are related to his incompetence and incapability to perform the desired role as the chief justice and promoting corruption and anarchy in courts.

“As a chairperson of the Judicial Council, he failed to maintain transparency and made appointments arbitrarily,” reads the motion as quoted by The Kathmandu Post. Despite these serious allegations, the motion, mainly pushed by the parties in the ruling alliance, isn’t without controversy.

The CPN-UML, the largest party in Parliament which is in opposition, has questioned the timing of the motion. Members of the ruling parties kept avoiding presenting the impeachment motion last year when the crisis in judiciary was at its peak and courts were virtually non-functional for weeks.

Interestingly, the motion came weeks before the apex court is scheduled to announce a crucial verdict in a case, seeking disqualification of some lawmakers who crossed over to the ruling alliance from the opposition CPN-UML. The judgment will have serious ramifications for the stability of the current Deuba government.

Questioning the timing, opposition CPN-UML accused the ruling alliance of attempting to influence the judiciary by bringing the impeachment motion now.

 (SAM)

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