Former Justice of the Supreme Court Top Bahadur Singh He is the Chairperson of the Presiding Justice Forum, Nepal. The body, set up by former judges, periodically publishes its views on justice, law and constitutional issues.
The forum, led by Singh, who is also the author of a book on justice and jurisprudence, on Friday slammed the work and activities of the judicial leadership. Urge the Chief Justice to give an exit Done.
Then, he drew the attention of the House of Representatives to take the lead in the investigation. Why and on what basis did the forum issue a statement with such a conclusion? Krishna GyawaliInterview with Former Justice Singh:
Your release contains issues under consideration in the court and others. Why is it that a former judge, who is often silent, has to speak harshly?
Even though we are former judges, we remain committed to justice all our lives. We are always attached to the values of justice. We are discussing how to increase public trust in the court because only then will the dignity of the court increase. Along with the dignity of the court, our dignity also increases because we have worked there.
Lately, various things are coming in the media and elsewhere. The bar (association) is speaking. Public confidence in the court is declining.
With so many questions, we have no choice. The alternative is the House of Representatives, because it has the right to take action. We have asked for a serious investigation. Because that is the constitutional system. After all this, it is okay for him to give an exit himself.
Sometimes when we meet someone, we ask, ‘What kind of judiciary is there now?’ Began to ask. After everyone felt this way, our friends consulted. We have also set up an institution by adding the name of the subject of the court. It was felt that we also have a responsibility towards the people, society and justice.
After that, we formed a five-member investigation committee under the coordination of former judge Rajendra Bhandari. Among them were Shambhu Bahadur Khadka, Govind Kumar Shrestha, Binod Dhungel and Pawan Kumar Ojha. They studied it in detail. We have issued a statement summarizing that.
One of the topics we talked about is related to the issue under consideration. We have commented on the order made by Judge Hari Phuyal. But we do not put his name in it.
What does it mean for the forum to comment on the order made by the Chief Justice in the Constitutional Court as a violation of the Code of Conduct?
If a judge decides not to look at something, he should express it in writing. Not just verbally. Evidence of every issue is required in the court. Courts also judge on the basis of evidence.
If there is an issue with me, if the issue belongs to a relative or if it is related to my interest, then I should disclose the details and say that I cannot look into the issue. We remove that by a written order.
The constitution has made the Chief Justice mandatory in the constitutional session. This provision of the constitution has also been criticized. All the benches of the Supreme Court are constitutional benches. In a broader sense, the Supreme Court itself is a constitutional court.
India also has a federal system. But he is looking at it regularly without arranging a constitutional session. The Supreme Court is deciding the constitutional question. Similarly, a separate constitutional session was held in our country. On top of that, it was made mandatory that there should be a bench headed by the Chief Justice. In this way, if the Chief Justice himself is involved in a constitutional dispute, he should look into the matter himself.
Let’s look at the previous example. The issue of dissolution of the first House of Representatives was taken up by the Constitutional Court. The second dissolution was to be considered by a larger session than the Constitutional session. In my opinion, this work also went against the principle of natural justice. The decision made by oneself cannot be seen by oneself. After the same constitutional session, it was like watching. It would have been amazing to see a larger session. That situation did not remain the same.
Let’s look at another topic. The Chief Justice himself attended the meeting of the Constitutional Council which would have reached the quorum of three provided by the ordinance. That was against the constitution. He became an ex-officio member. He ran away, didn’t he? That was a different matter.
A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that such act was against the constitution and law. That case has not been heard yet. The question arose as to whether he should be on leave. He told her not to sit in the bench. A week later, another petition was filed before the case could be heard.
On what basis did you say that it was wrong to register another petition (submitted by Advocate Ganesh Regmi)?
Yes, it looked sponsored. Because, there is no case against the Supreme Court. When a case is filed against an individual, office bearer or organization, a case is not registered against the Supreme Court. Even the precedent of a case involving Dasharath Kurmi when Ratna Bahadur was the Chief Justice has established the belief that no writ can be filed against the Supreme Court. An application that should not be registered has been registered.
The petition has been submitted on Wednesday. Friday was the muscle, Thursday was the muscle. Three single benches have been fixed. This has been seen as a priority in one session.
Giving this all a quick read, it seems we are pretty much in agreement. Because justice must be done, not just justice. They did not do justice. He did not even pretend to do justice. We have spoken because there is room for suspicion. The media also raised many questions about that.
The single sitting has blocked the proceedings of the constitutional session. As soon as the single session saw it, it should have used its discretion to send it to the constitutional session. But he himself struck down the interim order.
The petition seeking revocation of the interim order was not registered. All of these events seemed to sponsor this work. It has not been good, we have voiced that it is a continuation of Bhagwanda.
On what basis should the forum investigate this issue?
There must be an investigation. Because we have to look at what interests are involved in it. Certainly not without selfishness. If it was ordered with a pure mind, it would be seen in the cleanliness order.
When KP Sharma Oli became the Prime Minister, he became a judge after the Attorney General (Hari Phuyal) appointed by him. After he gives the order, it is natural to feel that ‘there is something black in the dal’. Is there any hidden interest in it or not? Should be investigated.
The issue of Ranjan Koirala’s decision and subsequent Nissa has been included in the release. Isn’t that a little old?
Ranjan Koirala, who was found guilty of murdering his wife, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the then appellate court. The Supreme Court reduced his stay to 12 years, which led to Ranjan’s immediate release.
On top of that, the question arose, the people even took to the streets. The lawmakers then went to the Attorney General’s Office as a delegation. They hurried to quell the public outcry. Then the issue disappeared somewhere. Nissa also seemed to have a sponsor. Otherwise, it should have been given priority. We have raised questions then and now.
You also talked about asking for a ministerial post and bargaining. The Chief Justice himself has said no.
That issue is not raised by us, it is raised by the media. The issue of Bhagwanda was raised and his elder brother also became a minister. He also resigned after the protest. Then he said, ‘The tiger will roar, the goat will also disappear.’ We have raised the same question. We are not saying that the tiger ate the goat, we are saying that the goat is eaten by the tiger or not.
He said that the House of Representatives should take the lead to look into this issue. Is it a demand for investigation or an indication that it should go to impeachment?
With so many questions, we have no choice. The alternative is the House of Representatives, because it has the right to take action. The House of Representatives is also a whip-wielding assembly. No one became the Chief Justice by whipping, no one stopped even if serious questions arose.
That is why we have asked for a serious investigation. Because that is the constitutional system. After all this, it is okay for him to give an exit himself. The way out is from resignation to his announcement that I will not do this from now on. If not, the House of Representatives should look into it.
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Law practitioners are also agitating. You also issued a statement in strong words. Have you been consulted?
Is the Bar Association doing anything?
The Nepal Bar Association issued a statement setting a deadline for the implementation of the muscle management round. A meeting of the Supreme Court Bar Association is being held. Do you have mutual advice?
No, no. Our subject is not related to them. We have spoken on the basis of the issues that have appeared in the media and outside. Our friends have formed a team and studied what to say about this issue.
The dignity of the court is being eroded. After meeting him, he asked, “How is the court now?” He asks. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.