Three Main Verdicts Of Supreme Court Of Nepal
Three Main Verdicts Of Supreme Court Of Nepal
Siddhi B Ranjitkar
Recently, the Supreme Court of Nepal has given the verdicts on three main lawsuits such as the case brought against the Chief of Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Lokman Singh Karki, the case against the amendment to the Constitution the government had introduced in the parliament on November 29, 2016, and the case against the land belonged to King Birendra and his queen the last king Gyanendra gave as a dowry to his daughter Prerna Rajya Laxmi Shah (Singh). Obviously, the current Supreme Court of Nepal led by Chief Justice Sushila Karki has corrected the previous verdicts done under the external influence.
On Sunday, January 8, 2017, the full bench of the three justices of the Supreme Court such as Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada, Dr. Anand Mohan Bhattarai, and Anil Kumar Sinha has come to the conclusion that the qualifications of Lokman Singh Karki did not meet the qualifications the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 has set for the Chief of CIAA, and stated that the decision on making recommendation for appointing Lokman to the CIAA Chief the Constitutional Council had made, and the appointment the President had made following the recommendation of the Constitutional Council in April 2013 null and void, and also issued a mandamus to the Constitutional Council and the office of the President to recommend and appoint the person to the chief of CIAA meeting the qualifications required for following the Constitution, the news on ‘gorkhapatra’ stated on January 9, 2017.
During the people’s movement in 2006, Lokman was a chief secretary to the then government. The new government set up after the people’s movement transferred Lokman from the chief secretary to the chief officer of the National Planning Commission. Then, the Commission presided over by former Justice of the Supreme Court Krishna Jung Rayamajhi on finding the culprits of repressing the people’s movement found Lokman guilty in suppressing the people’s movement. After the government initiated actions against him, Lokman resigned from the office in September 2008.
Amid the public outcry against the appointment of Lokman to the chief of CIAA, the then chairman of the Council of Ministers also the Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi presiding over the Constitutional Council recommended Lokman to the chief of CIAA in April 2013. Have been publicly stating he was against the appointment of Lokman so far, the then President Dr Ram Baran Yadav in a surprise move appointed Lokman at the midnight and let him take the oath of office from the then Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma at the resident of the president next morning amid the tight security anticipating the protests from the public.
The irony had been that then all the political parties had nodded to the decision of the Constitutional Council on the recommendation for appointing Lokman to the chief of CiAA, and the President appointing him. Why all the political parties had accepted Lokman the Rayamajhi Commission has indicted for suppressing the people’s movement as the chief of CIAA has been mystery as all the answers have been only speculations not on the evidences.
Some people speculated that the then political parties had accepted Lokman as the chief of CIAA the Constitutional Council had recommend, and the President had appointed under the outside influence. Others have speculated that Lokman must have used his powerful weapon of wealth to prove that he was innocent and even eligible for the important position such as the chief of CIAA.
Advocate Omprakash Aryal had filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Nepal stating the appointment of Lokman to the Chief of CIAA was unconstitutional. The Joint bench of the two justices of the Supreme Court such as Gopal Parajuli, and Omprakash Misra dismissed the case in September 2014.
In November 2015 challenging the dismissal of the lawsuit filed against the appointment of Lokman to the Chief of CIAA, Advocate Omprakash Aryal again lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court to review the verdict. On September 16, 2016, the full bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki and two justices such as Biswombhar Prasad Shrestha and Sapna Pradhan Malla ordered to review the case.
Lokman had attempted to bully even the Supreme Court of Nepal refusing to accept the subpoena served to him for appearing in the court. The Supreme Court messengers had several times gone to his residence to serve the notice but none of the people accepted the subpoena. Ultimately, the messengers had to post the notice on the gate to the house in presence of the official of the municipal ward. Then, Lokman was under subpoena to appear in the court.
While the case against the appointment of Lokman to the Chief of CIAA is under consideration at the Supreme Court, 157 lawmakers registered a proposal for the impeachment of Lokman at the parliament on October 18, 2016. Thereafter, Lokman was suspended from duty pending the outcome of the impeachment. The CPN-UML lawmakers have been obstructing the regular businesses of the parliament demanding the withdrawal of the second amendment to the Constitution the government has registered at the parliamentary secretariat. Consequently, the parliament has not been able to take up the impeachment of Lokman until the first week of January 2017.
The second vital verdict the Supreme Court gave was on the amendment to the Constitution. On January 2, 2017, hearing on the case Advocate Tikadhoj Khadka filed at the Supreme Court demanding to stall the process for amending the Constitution the government had introduced in the parliament on November 29, 2016, the Bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki and Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada rejected to freeze the process for the second amendment to the Constitution thus opening the process to continue in the parliament, the news on ‘gorkhapatra’ stated on January 3, 2017.
The Supreme Court Bench has stated that the parliament is the right place to discus any bill on anything and then to craft a law; so, the amendment bill under consideration at the parliament has not been discussed, yet, and has not reached the conclusion; in such a case, it is not proper for the judiciary to stop the process for amending the constitution.
Following the principles of the separation of power, the parliament is the only agency to see any bill is appropriate or not and then decide following the Constitution; however, any law crafted going against the Constitution will be unacceptable, and such a law will be declared unacceptable through the legal procedure, the Bench stated.
Almost all the leaders of the major political parties in the government and in the opposition welcomed the verdict the Supreme Court Bench gave on the amendment to the Constitution. However, the CPN-UML and other political parties aligned with it have been obstructing the regular business of the parliament in other words they have been holding the parliament a hostage for meeting their demand for withdrawing the bill on the second amendment to the Constitution to make it acceptable to all Nepalese means the dissident ethnic parties and Madheshi parties that have been protesting against the Constitution stating it has not incorporated the provision for making them have equal say in the State business.
The irony is that the amendment bill the government registered at the parliament has not satisfied the Madheshi and ethnic people, too, not to mention the CPN-UML and its followers that have been saying that the amendment is against the national interest and it will bring crisis. So, how and why such an amendment bill has been introduced in the parliament to suit whose interest has been mystery.
On Sunday, January 8, 2017, the government submitted the second amendment to the Constitution in the parliament despite the opposition lawmakers rising from their seats and protesting it. However, the lawmakers have risen from their seats as a small token of the protests this time.
Prime Minister Prachanda has publicly said that he has had one-on-one meeting with the opposition leader KP Oli, and Oli has agreed on continuing the parliamentary process for amending the Constitution. Nobody knows what sweetener Prachanda has provided Oli with to make him agree on it. However, other CPN-UML leaders have been publicly opposing the amendment process.
The third significant verdict the Supreme Court gave was on the transfer of the land given to the Gyanendra Shah’s daughter Prerna Singh as a dowry to the Nepal Trust. The Full Bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki, and Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla overturned the previous verdict of the Supreme Court making the possibility of transferring 15 ropanis and one aana land at Chhauni in Kathmandu to Nepal Trust, the news titled “Prerna lai deyako daijo sarkari karan adesh” in “gorkhapatra” of January 6, 2017 stated.
Nepal Trust was transferring the ownership of all the land belonged to King Birendra and Queen Aishworya to its name after the government made a decision on it on December 15, 2007. After six years in February 2014, Prerana Singh went to the Supreme Court stating Nepal Trust transferred the land she had received as a dowry from her father. In July 2015, the Bench of Chief Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR ordered to return the land to Prerna Singh.
The so-called King Gyanendra gave the land belonged to King Birendra and his Queen Aishworya as a dowry to the Gyanendra’s daughter Prerana Singh. Gyanendra was not so poor that he had to give someone’s land as a dowry to his daughter but he did so bullying the State law.
Gyanendra became a king after King Birendra and his entire families were mysteriously killed in the palace massacre on June 1, 2001. The commission Gyanendra set up on investigating the massacre found the then drunken crown prince Dipendra in the anger at his parents not allowing him to marry the lady of his choice did the job but even the evidences the commission collected contradicted it.
Gyanendra had been a so-called king because probably majority of Nepalese did not accept him as a king. On the very morning while he was returning on a horse-drawn open carriage from the Hanumandhoka after the royal priest in a religious ceremony crowned Gyanendra as a king, some people at the Bir Hospital booed him. Gyanendra failed to receive the endorsement of the then parliament.
Some people opened the never-opened-secret State treasury at the Hanumandhoka palace containing a number of boxes with treasure, and removed two boxes. Could anybody dare to open such a State treasury without the knowledge of the then King Gyanendra, and take away two boxes out of so many boxes found after the country became republic?
Gyanendra also forced the then his Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to pay NPR 20 million to the Gyanendra’s aunt Helen Shah for her medical treatment from the State treasury. Helen Shah was not so poor that she could not pay her medical bills.
Gyanendra has no problem of losing the crown and leaving the palace because those things never belonged to him. So, he quietly accepted the end of the monarchy and then quietly left the Narayanhity palace. Gyanendra had told in an interview to the foreign reporter that the crown was thrust on him.
Gyanendra’s father Mahendra as a king of Nepal sold the Narayanhity palace to the State, pocketed the money and stayed on in the palace. Mahendra also gave the Lipu Lekh where Nepal, India and China meet to India after the Sino-Indian war in 1962. Even today some people label Mahendra as a nationalist. How could a man giving the piece of land to a foreign country at cost or without a cost be a nationalist? Is it how Mahendra save Nepal from India? It was sure that he saved his own crown.
Gyanendra’s grandfather King Tribhuvan sold the crown Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher surrendered to him in 1951, and spent the money on his medical treatment in Switzerland. However, he never returned from Switzerland alive.
Some people have waged their tails at the Statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah on January 11, 2017 as the celebration of his anniversary in the name of Prithvi uniting the country. He had been the merciless man and he did not deserve to have the title of uniting the country. Some people possessing the ghosts of Prithvi and his descendents have been dreaming to unite Nepal at the gunpoint as his commanders and Prithvi did in the past. The celebration of the Prithvi’s anniversary is nothing but the reminder of the despotic rule of the Shah rulers.
January 12, 2017