The Parliamentary Hearing Committee of the House will question Hari Krishna Karki, who has been recommended for the post of chief justice by the Constitutional Council, only on Friday.
Karki, who is currently serving as acting chief justice, has presented his plans and his qualification and achievements until now during the haring that started Thursday. He has claimed that he has been able to cut malpractices in the judiciary by 60 percent and pointed that malpractices have gradually come down after start of using draw of lottery to assign cases.
Presenting a 20-page plan, Karki has said that he would control middlemen in the judiciary taking effective steps. He has added that those identified as brokers would be closely monitored and recommend the authorities concerned to take action against them.
He has stressed that people who are not related to any cases would be denied entry in the courts and their access to judicial officials curbed to control activities of middlemen.
The hearing will resume Friday morning and the 15 lawmakers in the committee will question Karki including about the complaints lodged against him.
The House of Representatives had invited complaints against Karki on May 30.
A total of 29 complaints have been received against Kark.
The Parliamentary Hearing Committee had invited complaints against Karki on May 30.
Most of the complainants have claimed that Karki is unqualified for the judiciary’s top post. The Hearing Committee handed out the complaints to lawmakers in the committee on Monday.
Setopati has obtained some complaints against Karki. Most of the complainants are advocates. The complainants have alleged that Karki is close to the main opposition party CPN-UML and that he cannot impart fair justice. Some have also accused him of working as a middleman and giving flawed verdicts.
One complainant has said that Karki’s own partner had been appointed to the post of justice when Agni Kharel, Karki’s partner at the Advance Law Firm at Putali Sadak, was law minister. The complainant has accused Karki of prejudice and bias and said that he is unfit to become chief justice.
Another complainant has demanded scrapping the recommendation for Karki’s appointment as chief justice, arguing that the recommendation was made in the absence of functions, duties and act related to the Constitutional Council and that a case against it is under consideration at the Supreme Court.
Pointing that Karki is retiring on August 4 due to the age limit of 65 years, the complainant has claimed that it would be a misuse of state resources as he would have to be given lifelong retirement benefits.
One complainant has accused Karki of acting as a middleman for privatization of Laboratory Secondary School in Kathmandu. He has said that Karki has failed to impart fair justice and does not have the minimum qualities and qualifications required to become the chief of the judiciary.
Another complaint has stated that Karki was on the bench hearing the case when then prime minister KP Sharma Oli dissolved Parliament and had left the bench only on the third day. The complainant has also accused Karki of repeatedly deferring hearings on a writ petition filed against the appointment of 53 office-bearers to constitutional bodies through an ordinance during Oli’s tenure.
The advocates have pointed at the absence of laws for Karki’s appointment and also raised questions about his political involvement.
One advocate has claimed in his complaint that an individual who has acted as an accomplice to keep the judiciary under partisan political control would be unfit for the post of chief justice.
District judge Shree Krishna Bhattarai has also lodged a complaint against Karki. In his 26-page complaint, Bhattarai has asked for an opportunity to cross-examine Karki in the Hearing Committee and also demanded that it be broadcast live in the media.
Bhattarai has claimed that Karki was recommended for chief justice when there was no hearing committee, no Parliament regulations and no act related to the Constitutional Council. He has accused Karki of being a place-hunter and said that his appointment would result in financial burden on the state.
A complainant from Chitwan, in a complaint sent by email, has said that it is necessary to stop Karki from becoming chief justice as he had prevented former chief justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana from attending the court even after the Parliament’s general secretary sent a letter about Rana’s acquittal of impeachment.
Karki will be the chief justice until August 4 if he passes the parliamentary hearing.