CJ Rana refutes reports of seeking his share in Cabinet

Alleged collusion between executive and judiciary is definitely a test case for the notion of separation of powers in Nepal. The question is whether the judiciary can come clean or will it engage in formal refutation only?

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: In what appears to be completely unacceptable in a democracy, Nepal’s Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR on Sunday landed in a controversy of seeking his share in the expansion of Cabinet.

According to media reports, he had allegedly submitted names of persons close to him to be included in the Cabinet expansion.

On Monday, CJ Rana denied his involvement saying that the appointment of a minister is solely an executive affair and the Chief Justice has no role at all towards that end.

During his meeting with a delegation including Nepal Bar Association (NBA) President Purnaman Shakya today, the CJ said it was the sole decision of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to whom he appoints minister.

The NBA delegation reached out to the CJ and drew his attention to the media report that CJ had sought his share in the Council of Ministers.

The Chief Justice said he has a serious objection to the news report and the court would soon present its official views on the matter, said delegation member Bikash Bhattarai quoting the CJ.

Issuing a statement earlier today, the Nepal Bar Association said that it had drawn attention to the news condemning the act as regrettable.

In a statement, NBA General Secretary Lilamani Poudel denounced the alleged act saying it to be against separation of powers, constitutional supremacy and independent, competent and impartial judiciary.

“If the news is true, the act is unconstitutional and would lead to interference in the state apparatus and extreme chaos and failure of the state,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court too refuted the media reports that Chief Justice Rana was seeking his share in the Council of Ministers.

In a statement, SC Spokesperson Baburam Dahal mentioned that the apex court has drawn its serious attention to the news published in various newspapers and online media.

“It is very sad and regrettable to publish exaggerated and misleading news about the formation and expansion of the Council of Ministers,” the statement said.