SC approves Aryal's promotion, annuls Silwal's petition

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday has annulled the writ petition filed by DIG Navaraj Silwal against IGP appointment. An extended full bench led by Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli, that had conducted the final hearing on the petition on August 31, has deemed appointment of Prakash Aryal as IGP of Nepal Police to be in accordance to the law.

The extended full bench, that also includes Justice Om Prakash Mishra, Kedar Prasad Chalise, Sharada Prasad Ghimire, Mira Khadka, Prakash Man Singh Raut and Purushottam Bhandari, had conducted the last hearing on August 10 before deciding to continue the hearing on August 31. The bench on August 31 had then said that the verdict will be delivered on September 12.

The then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 1 had also formed a seven-member extended full bench led by Cholendra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana for hearing. The bench included Jagadish Sharma Paudel, Deep Kumar Karki, Kedar Prasad Chalise, Sapana Pradhan Malla, Tej Bahadur KC and Purushottam Bhandari. Such extended full bench was formed to hear the case even before but the hearing could not take place. Jagadish Sharma Paudel has retired since due to age limit.

Silwal on April 11 had moved the Apex Court against the appointment of Prakash Aryal as IGP of Nepal Police. The government on April 10 had appointed Aryal as IGP.

The final hearing on the petition was scheduled for May 2. But lawmakers of Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) on April 30 had registered the impeachment motion as per the Article 101 (2) of the constitution accusing CJ Karki of infringing on executive authority to appoint IGP before the hearing.

CJ Karki was suspended following registration of the impeachment motion and the hearing was postponed for May 11. CJ Karki returned to duty following an interim order by the SC but the hearing could not take place even on May 11.

Silwal had moved the Apex Court, a day after Aryal's appointment, claiming that he is above three others, who were in contention for the top post, in terms of seniority and performance evaluation. He had also submitted comparison of performance evaluation of him and Aryal for the past four years in the petition.

The SC had refused to issue an Interim Order as demanded by Silwal.

The government on April 10 had appointed Aryal as IGP. The cabinet meeting filled the post that had remained vacant after the SC canceled promotion of Jai Bahadur Chand on March 21.

A full bench including the then CJ Sushila Karki and justices Hari Krishna Karki, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Bhattarai had ordered the government to appoint another IGP from among qualified contenders.

It had directed the government to consider performance evaluation of the contenders for the past four fiscal years and appoint the one who has performed the best on an average during the period.

The government on February 12 had promoted the fourth-ranked contender among the quartet of DIGs—Silwal, Aryal, Chand, and Bhandari--all of whom were in contention for the top job due to the unflinching backing of Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The single bench of the then CJ Karki hearing a pre-emptive writ petition filed by advocate Kapil Dev Dhakal had ordered the government not to implement the cabinet’s decision just a few hours after Chand's appointment. She again issued the same instruction the following day hearing a petition filed by Silwal.

The government had made AIG Dr Dinesh Chandra Pokharel from technical service the acting chief of Nepal Police amending the Nepal Police Regulations while the case was sub judice. The amendment was made for one time appointment of AIG from technical service acting IGP.

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