Chief Justice of Nepal-Impeachment Motion

Cholendra Shumsher Rana is the current Chief Justice of Nepal. He recently faced “impeachment procedure”. He is the second Chief Justice of the country to face impeachment in seven years.

What happened?

Chief Justice Rana was suspended. After his suspension, Dipak Karki, the senior most judge in the Supreme Court of Nepal has taken over his position. 98 MPs of Nepal Parliament signed the motion. These MPs belong to Congress party of the country, Maoists and unified socialist party. Communist party is the current opposition party.

Background

The frequent impeachment in Nepal is mainly due to political differences. The judiciary of Nepal has been under the influence of political parties for a long time. The three parties that passed the impeachment were so far divided. But they have suddenly come together to impeach the Chief Justice.

What does the Nepal Constitution say about impeachment?

25% votes of the total strength of the house is sufficient to suspend the chief justice. This weak criteria is the main reason behind frequent impeachment of the chief justices. In other democracies, the parliament forms a committee. The committee conducts investigation on the charges filed against the chief justice.

Chief Justice of Nepal

He is appointed by the President of Nepal. His term is six years. He is the head of judicial branch of Nepal. He is the chief administrative officer of the judicial system of Nepal. Just like the Chief Justice of India, the Nepal Chief Justice also has powers to allocate cases to different benches at his will.

Earlier controversies around Rana

In November 2021, the judges of Supreme Court went on strike against Rana. According to them, Rana was allocating cases only to specific benches. He was skipping important political matters. With this Rana changed the system of allocating the cases. He brought in a lottery system to assign cases randomly. Apart from this, Rana faced accusations of corruption, mismanagement of court, delaying hearings related to government, etc.

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