The Nepal Supreme Court’s routine business was stalled for the third day in a row after Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana refused to step down despite pressure from the bar and from 15 out of 21 top court judges. They boycotted routine business, demanding that Rana quit to “redeem the honour and credibility of the court”, amid allegations regarding the Chief Justice’s interactions with politicians.
“I will not quit because of such pressure, but will face an impeachment should parliamentarians want it,”
Rana insisted, bringing the bitter confrontation in the judiciary to an unprecedented level.
Denying allegations that he pushed for his relative to be inducted into the recently formed Cabinet, Rana asked fellow judges if they had any other reason for demanding his resignation.
“Some of your verdicts have brought the judiciary to disrepute and you must step aside for that,” one of the 15 judges is believed to have said.
“In that case, let us have all controversial verdicts by all judges reviewed and let others also quit,” Rana said in response.
Soon after the spat between the Chief Justice and other judges came out in the open, former Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli said all the five judges, including Rana, who were in the constitutional bench that reversed his decision to dismiss the House of Representatives were “politically motivated, and must quit”.
Rana has been accused of making deals with politicians, and seeking a ministerial berth for his brother-in-law, who was appointed as a minister on October 8, but resigned less than 72 hours after his induction following the controversy.