“No collusion between UML and suspended CJ Rana”

Speaker delayed the impeachment by locking file at home for 6 months

Dhiraj Basnet

September 5, 2022


“No collusion between UML and suspended CJ Rana”

KATHMANDU: Suspended Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana has defended his actions as the Chief Justice on the questions raised by the parliamentarians and has continuously criticized his colleagues.

During his statement before the parliament’s Impeachment Recommendation Committee formed to investigate the allegations made against him (CJ Rana), the suspended chief justice came down heavily against his fellow judges and the political parties.

He claimed the impeachment motion has already become inactive. Referring to Section 65 of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Rana remarked that there was no reason to discuss the proposal that has become inactive.

Based on these issues, Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet approached UML lawmaker and member of the Impeachment  Recommendation Committee Lal Babu Pandit to discuss the issue he has been investigating on. Excerpts:

How did you find the performance of the suspended Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana during the two-day statement?

An impeachment motion has been registered against him with 21 charges. We added those and others to make 43 questions and so far he has answered a few questions.

He has time to answer of his own free will. One question takes more than an hour because more counter questions are raised on the answer given to a question.

Therefore, it is not possible to say how long our question will be completed. The impeachment committee has worked for the first time in Nepal. Therefore, we cannot predict right now how much time this will take.

While answering the queries, he revealed how leaders and parties are playing in the court. Rana even said that he was impeached when he was preparing the final verdict on former Prime Ministers Dr Baburam Bhattarai and Madhav Kumar Nepal-related case. What is UML’s response on this matter?

Due to the fact that I am represented by UML and because I am in the seat of justice, I cannot go beyond the scope of this committee now.

We have given the entire information to the media about who asked what questions and what they answered in the committee.

We are trying to take it to the people. Since all people can see things in the same way, they are the ones who distinguish between right and wrong.

He said that the protest took place because the former chief justices and Nepal Bar Association officials sought a seat in the court. Will the former chief justices and Bar officials be subject to taking statements to your committee?

Names have come institutionally. The committee takes statements from those organizations and individuals. If they have done something wrong, they will also be subject to punishment.

During the statement, Rana revealed that he had urged UML Chairman KP Oli to impeach five judges who were looking into the case of dissolution of parliament in the constitutional bench, doesn’t this mean that there was collusion between UML and the suspended chief justice?

There is no alliance between UML and the suspended chief justice Rana. If there were an alliance, UML should win all related issues. Our leadership has to go to court and lose every case.

The power coalition and the bar did not understand anything; and brought the impeachment motion. The motion which was supposed to be completed within 3 months, was not completed even after 6 months. The speaker kept the impeachment motion in his drawers for quite long.

Legally, after the impeachment proposal is issued, if the government is active, it should be submitted to the parliament within 3 days and the process should be carried forward and completed within three months.

If the Parliament is not in session, a special session of the Parliament should be called within 15 days and this proposal should be forwarded within three days.

But even though it was registered on February 13th and the parliament was in session, the speaker kept it hidden by pretending that the proposal had not come.

When there were 25 days to the end of the time of the House of Representatives, the work was moved forward merely to skip legal and moral questions. I myself raised my voice on behalf of the UML in the Parliament and asked where the impeachment proposal reached.

Suspended Chief Justice Rana complained that he could not even form the bench as he wanted, what did he mean by this?

It is normal to speak in your own defense when you are in a courtroom. Those who have heard and seen the video will decide based on what they have heard and seen. When we leave this committee, it will be a place to detail the work we have done and its decision.

Rana accused many leaders during his reply but praised KP Oli, is there any reason behind this?

I cannot answer this question now that the hearing committee has taken a statement. My moral obligations do not allow me to comment on this. It is a matter of an individual’s freedom whether a person likes someone better.

When the suspended chief justice said this impeachment proposal has been inactive, why did you not interrogate on this matter?

We asked questions but he raised the matter according to section 65 of the regulation. Then I showed Article 169. I read out that no matter what happens elsewhere in the impeachment provisions, it will be as written in the impeachment section and he prepared to give a statement as he had nothing to say against our logic.

How long can this statement take and when will you finalize the investigation?

We are ready to finish soon. We will complete the work. This may take some time.