By PR Pradhan
Many things have been surfaced and many rumours have been heard since the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee rejected the recommendation to assign acting chief justice Dipakraj Joshi to the post of chief justice. How politics has spoiled our independent judiciary, Joshi’s case is just an example. Today, the nation is divided into support and opposition of Joshi’s issue. Legal experts are also divided in two sections. One section believes that the step against Joshi is against independent court, which is an autocratic move. They have warned that after Joshi, the government will move against media freedom. Another section is pleading that the Committee has done its job and there is no question to object on its decision.
In the history of 70 years, for the first time, the acting chief justice has been rejected from becoming the chief justice. There are rumors in the market that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli became negative towards Joshi since he denied to give verdicts in support of the government’s action. Specially, when the Court gave stay order against the cabinet decision on dismissing political appointments done by the previous government, Oli had become furious with Joshi. Earlier, Oli had held a meeting with Joshi seeking court’s support for the government, according to rumours in the market.
Acting CJ Joshi, after rejection of his name from the Committee, has issued a statement stating that the Hearing Committee was influenced from some media propaganda against his educational qualification. Joshi has challenged the government for investigating on his educational certificates. Specially, the Kantipur Media Group had questioned on Joshi’s SLC certificate. If read Kantipur daily, the readers will become convinced that Joshi had produced fake SLC certificate. One of the Joshi’s disqualifications mentioned by the Parliamentary Hearing Committee is his educational certificates. Joshi has stated that the Committee was influenced from the false media reports.
Joshi’s name was recommended for his appointment to the post of the chief justice by the Constitutional Council chaired by the Prime Minister. Why the Council committed a serious mistake by recommending Joshi like incapable person to the post of chief justice, it is serious to note. The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee has objection on some controversial SC verdicts done by Joshi. Whether the Constitutional Council was unaware about such controversial verdicts!
It has been reported in different media that Joshi was a NC activist and he was involved in the conspiracy for dismissing capable and impartial temporary justices in the Supreme Court. A group of temporary SC justices were retired as the Constitutional Council had failed to renew and make them permanent. On this design, Joshi was involved, pro-government intellectuals claim. Accordingly, due to the verdict given by Joshi, the nation had to face loss of a huge amount of revenue as Joshi had given clean chit to those tax defaulters. All these issues have been surfaced only after Joshi faced the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee and only after the SC started to issue stay order against the cabinet decision for dismissing political appointments made by the previous government.
Some observers have even remarked Joshi’s case as a conspiracy of the Westerner players as SC had rejected 460 million rupees worth UNDP support, which, the previous CJs including Kalyan Timilsina to Sushila Karki had happily accepted. Recently, Karki was seen delivering speech against the government expressing solidarity on Dr Govinda KC’s fast onto death. Timilsina is also found in the crowd of the so-called civic society time and again. They are acting to the tune of the westerners, observers believe. Karki is proud of selecting one activist of a Westerner funded NGO in the panel of SC justices who is going to become the chief justice in future.
The above examples speak itself about the state of our independent judiciary, effect of political colours in the court and also foreigners’ influence in the court. Compared to the present mess, the court, during the Kings’ rule was more clean, impartial, prestigious and respected. Indeed, there was rule of law and in many occasions, even the king was found respecting the court verdict against his decisions without any objection.
Qualification of judges
By PR Pradhan