Rejected for CJ but fit to serve as justice

Setopati files


Deepak Raj Joshi, who was rejected for the post of chief justice by the special committee for parliamentary hearing, is returning to the Supreme Court (SC) as a justice on Tuesday.

Joshi welcomed newly appointed Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra to the Apex Court as the senior most justice when the latter reached the SC to assume office on Monday.

Joshi was rejected by the special committee for parliamentary hearing on August 3. He was on a leave since August 5 and Mishra had been constituting benches as the senior-most justice after that.

Joshi, who had become acting chief justice after Gopal Parajuli was relieved of duties by the Secretary of Judicial Council Nripa Dhwaj Niraula on March 14, confirmed that he will be back for duty. “Yes, I am returning to the court,” Joshi told Setopati.

Joshi was rejected on the basis of two-third majority after Nepali Congress lawmakers boycotted the meeting of special committee for parliamentary hearing citing the dispute about his educational certificates. “He could not present solid action plan and road map for the judicial sector during the hearing. He also could not provide satisfactory answer to the questions raised about his behavior and integrity,” Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai had told reporters announcing Joshi’s rejection.

Joshi had challenged to investigate his educational certificates. He claimed that nobody would have any reservations about him returning to the court. “I have not harmed anyone,” he stated.

Joshi will be the senior most justice after appointment of Mishra as chief justice. The senior most justice serves as a member of the Judicial Council, that recommends justices and investigates complaints against them, and the constitutional bench.

Mishra will retire on January 1, 2019 and Joshi, who will still be serving then, may even be recommended for the post of chief justice once again after that.

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