CJ Retiring on Sept 7, CC Yet to Pick His Successor
Ananta Raj Luitel
Kathmandu, August 22

Though the incumbent Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel is retiring on September 7, the Constitutional Council (CC) has not yet started process for appointing his successor.
According to a source close to the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet, the Council has not met due to differences among the ruling-party members. The source said the CPN-Maoist is creating obstacles to appointments in constitutional posts.
“The Maoists have forwarded conditions like allocating one-third of the constitutional positions to them. This is why the Council has not been able to meet,” the source told The Himalayan Times.
According to a constitutional provision, candidates chosen for constitutional posts have to be recommended to the parliamentary Hearing Special Committee two weeks ahead of such appointments.
As per the Interim Constitution, the Prime Minister appoints the CJ and other constitutional nominees after the parliamentary hearing is over.
Meanwhile, a member of the Council said that the Council would meet tomorrow or the day after. PM Girija Prasad Koirala-headed Council has six other ex-officio members, including the Chief Justice, the Speaker and three ministers assigned by the PM, among others.
Koirala has assigned ministers Ram Chandra Paudel, Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Pradip Nepal to participate in the CC meeting.
The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, according to the source, “are taking stance for appointing CJ without any further delay even if other constitutional appointments are not possible immediately.” He added that it is only the CPN-Maoist which is for filling up all vacant constitutional positions simultaneously.
The posts of Chief Commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the National Human Rights Commission chairman and members and Auditor General are lying vacant for long.
“The Maoists are in favour of filling up all vacant posts, but they have not given the list of their nominees,” he added.
According to the secretary of the Judicial Council Prakash Kumar Dhungana, the JC wrote to the Constitutional Council requesting it to start process for Chief Justice’s appointment a week ago.
The JC has sent personal details of the judges with three-year experience in the Supreme Court – Kedar Prasad Giri, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Anup Raj Sharma, Ram Prasad Shrestha and Khil Raj Regmi – who are eligible for the top post of the Judiciary.
Hemanta Rawal, assistant spokesperson of the Supreme Court, said that the apex court had written to the Constitutional Council on August 16 requesting it to start process for CJ’s appointment.