World News | Nepal Opposition to Oppose Impeachment Motion Against CJ Rana, Claims It is Pretext to Postpone Polls

World News | Nepal Opposition to Oppose Impeachment Motion Against CJ Rana, Claims It is Pretext to Postpone Polls

Kathmandu [Nepal], February 14 (ANI): Nepal’s Opposition CPN- UML (Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist) has decided to oppose the impeachment motion registered against Chief Justice, claiming it to as a pretext to postpone upcoming elections.

Bishal Bhattarai, Chief Whip of the Opposition which owns majority in federal parliament, referring to statements made by Chairman KP Sharma Oli said, “The incumbent period and intention behind it are based on issues to create instability in court and to postpone elections.”

Also Read | Accident in Bolivia: 4 Killed, 22 Injured in a Bus Crash in Chuquisaca Department, Say Reports.

“All these have come with ill intentions which should be defended which can start from the street, the judiciary itself, legal sectors, it should be defeated,” he said

The impeachment motion which has been registered in the parliament secretariat on Sunday morning by ruling lawmakers has signatures of only 98 members of the parliament, falling short of a majority needed for its approval. The ruling coalition would need to garner support from the opposition as well to pass it from parliament which is expected to go on for weeks.

Also Read | South Korea Rolls Out 4th COVID-19 Vaccine Shots For High-Risk Groups Amid Surge In Omicron Infections.

There are a total of 271 members (including the house speaker) in parliament. Opposition CPN- UML has the highest 98 lawmakers followed by Nepali Congress with 63, Maoist Center with 48, CPN- Socialist with 23, JSP with 21 and LSP with 13 seats.

The Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP), which is part of the ruling coalition has expressed its surprise over the impeachment motion filed by the ruling coalition and claimed it was tabled without consultation. Further, adding to the suspense, the party on Monday decided to reveal their stance at the time of voting.

Provided the mathematics in the parliament, the House Speaker cannot exercise electoral power while four lawmakers from the ruling alliance have been relieved from their duty which cuts short 5 votes of the ruling coalition. It needs at least two-thirds of 181 votes to ratify the impeachment motion.

It is turning out to be a Herculean task for the ruling alliance as it still will fall short of 12 votes despite the parties on board the government voting in favour of the impeachment. This leaves the alliance to look out for defection from opposition lawmakers to pass on the motion.

The latest move to impeach the Chief Justice of the Himalayan Nation comes in wake of continued protests against CJ Rana by fellow lawyers and justices from Apex Court calling to “bar CJ Rana from entering office” organizing a sit-in-protest at the gate of the Supreme Court.

Nepal Bar Association, the umbrella organization of lawyers across Nepal has been agitating demanding the resignation of the Chief Justice, accusing him of seeking a political share in the cabinet, and encouraging corruption in the judiciary.

Advocates and Justices at Supreme Court had started protest against CJ Rana from the end of October last year alleging the head of Nepal’s Apex Court of misappropriation. CJ Rana has been blamed for making attempts to take political and personal incentives while delivering verdicts.

The agitating advocates and justices also have accused Chief Justice Rana of “bench shopping” meaning hearings were held for purpose of making a favourable decision for one of the parties. There are also allegations that the court has failed to do any work of reform. Overall, there are allegations of anomalies, irregularities and corruption in the judiciary.

With Chief Justice suspended for at least four months, agitating lawyers now are changing modalities of their protest which has crossed 100 days and is counting on.

“The impeachment motion which has been registered now, the ball now has landed on the court of political parties. It is reliant on them, how they would succeed whether it is ruling or opposition parties. Nepal Bar Association in the letters of accusation had mentioned ranges of issues, as some are addressed modalities of protest would now be changed,” Rakshya Bashyal, Vice President of Nepal Bar Association told ANI.

The lawyers and advocates who have come down against the Chief Justice for the first time in Nepali legal history claim that the latest round of agitation would ward off the ill-practices that remains in the judicial system.

“This step should have opted quite earlier, the decision to impeach the Chief Justice came late but it comes as one of the milestone moves by lawmakers which would save the nation and judicial system. Those who are confused or thinking to vote against the motion are requested to stand in support to save the nation, pass the impeachment and improve the judicial system,” Krishna Bhandari, one of the senior-most advocates of Nepal told ANI.

Previously, Chief Justice Rana had been criticised for attending a meeting of the Constitutional Council held after the issuance of an ordinance by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

An ordinance issued then had reduced the requirement of opposition leader and house speaker in the meeting reducing the majority required to make the appointments.

Chief Justice had also landed in controversy after his brother-in-law Gajendra Bahadur Hamal was appointed as a non-parliamentary minister to confirm the allegation that he was seeking a share.

Chief Justice Rana has maintained that he will not resign and that he was ready to face impeachment by parliament which is the constitutional process to remove the chief justice.

At Monday’s parliamentary committee meeting, the opposition also witnessed the collection of signatures of lawmakers on blank papers. The latest move of opposition has triggered the possibility of counter impeachment motion against four sitting justices of the Apex Court or the House Speaker.

Questioned about it, the Chief Whip of the party denied the possibility of immediate tabling of impeachment motion but cautioned that it could be used in future depending on the situation.

“They (Ruling alliance) unanimously postponed the parliamentary meeting for Wednesday, which also prompted us to call our lawmakers to gather at Kathmandu, we have collected signatures of them and it would be used at time of need after the high-level mechanism decides to use it,” the Chief Whip, Bishal Bhattarai said.

The agitating lawyers on the other hand have raised alarm to the opposition not to take any such steps which might further degrade the situation.

“Opposition party also bears some responsibilities, that’s why I don’t expect they would move forward to impeach remaining justices. It won’t be justifiable to file impeachment on the basis of verdicts that were previously delivered. If they do so or any of the political parties follow steps, I already have mentioned, the ball is in their court, responsibilities for all the consequences should be borne by them. Nepal Bar Association cannot impeach anyone, all it can do is make strategies and would continue our protest on the basis of it,” said Rakshya Bashyal, vice president, Nepal Bar Association, Kathmandu.

On Monday, five lawmakers from the opposition refused to sign on blank sheets. The party presented six various sheets of paper to lawmakers to put their signatures. Those absconding from signing on the papers include Bhim Rawal, Ghanshyam Bhusal, Deepak Prakash Bhatt, Pabitra Niraula Kharel and Jhapat Rawal. (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)

Source link