Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shamsher JB Rana has been dragged into controversy yet again after two organizations in the legal fraternity criticized his recent working style.
Issuing a 16-point statement on Friday, the Society of Former Justices called upon the House of Representatives (HoR) to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of impeaching the CJ if he doesn’t step down on his own.
Similarly, the Nepal Bar Association has set a 15-day deadline for a commitment to implement an automated case allocation system. Rana had earlier agreed to implement a lottery system until the automated case allocation system is put in place.
While a number of decisions made by the Supreme Court have drawn flak, Chief Justice Rana courted a serious controversy most recently for his alleged bargain to make his brother-in-law a minister in the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led Cabinet.
A fresh controversy surfaced in the legal fraternity after Rana expressed his reluctance to implement a lottery system to allocate cases for hearing at the Supreme Court though he had agreed for the same in the past.
Former CJs have raised questions over his professional integrity and commitment to uphold the judiciary’s independence.
“It’s not just a matter of him resigning, it’s a matter of reform,” Top Bahadur Singh, chairman of the Society of Former Justices, was quoted as saying by BBC Nepali.
Former CJs have called on the House of Representatives to conduct an impartial inquiry into all controversies surrounding the Chief Justice if he does not resolve the issue by himself.
Prior to this, Chief Justice Rana had courted controversy as a section of the media reported that he had sought his share in the appointments to various constitutional bodies as well as ministries during the KP Sharma Oli-led government.
Writ petitioners have alleged that Chief Justice Rana has been deferring the case related to the appointments to various constitutional bodies.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued a statement denying the allegations against the Chief Justice.
CJ Rana first courted controversy nearly two decades ago after he ruled in a case registered at the Biratnagar Appellate Court that playing the game of cards ‘marriage’ was not gambling.