KATHMANDU, Nepal - Former Judges Forum-Nepal has issued a press statement demanding Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, who has been mired in a controversy over his alleged attempt to gain political favors and a portion of the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led Cabinet, to retire from the post.
The FJF-N accused Rana of acting against the interests of the judiciary and demanded that if he did not resign, the House of Representatives (HoR) would investigate all allegations against him.
According to the retired judges' association, the selection of CJ Rana's brother-in-law as a minister raises severe issues about Rana.
Rana's relative, Gajendra Bahadur Hamal, was appointed minister of industry, trade, and supplies but resigned after rumors surfaced; CJ Rana advocated for his appointment.
According to the FJF-N, Rana should resign as Chief Justice to preserve the judiciary's dignity, credibility, and independence.
It said this in light of questions raised by a committee led by Justice Hari Krishna Karki about the CJ's role, controversies over choosing justices for the bench in several cases, including those involving the dissolution of the House of Representatives, accusations that he received kickbacks for making appointments to constitutional bodies, delays in the hearing of cases in which Rana is a defendant, and reports that the CJ tried to get one of his relatives appointed as a minister in the Cabinet, among other things. "But if the CJ does not display generosity for the sake of judiciary, we urge the HoR to come forward to fulfill its constitutional duty of fairly investigating all the controversies concerning the CJ," the FJF-N demanded.
CJ Rana's attempt to preside over those cases in the constitutional bench where he was a defendant was also criticized by the FJF-N, who called it an affront to the principle of natural justice.