By Our Reporter
The Judicial Council’s recommendation of five SC justices and 18 judges for high courts has faced controversy as legal experts closed to the ruling party have also condemned the recommendation.
Legal experts have expressed utter dissatisfaction on the recommendation. They have said that the independence of judiciary has now been finished.
They have blamed that the recommendation was based on party loyalty, nepotism and favoritism.
The Council had recommended five Supreme Court justice Patan High Court Chief Judge Prakash Kumar Dhungana and Surkhet High Court Chief Judge Sushma Lata Mathema. Accordingly, three are advocates former attorney general Hari Prasad Phuyal, senior advocate Kumar Regmi and advocate Manoj Kumar Sharma have been recommended as the SC justice.
Phuyal is close to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Sharma is the nephew of former chief justice Damodar Sharma and Regmi is close to the Nepali Congress.
Out of the 18 judges recommended for high courts, three are special class officers of the judicial service, one additional judge of a former appellate court, six district judges and eight advocates.
Deputy Attorney General Kiran Poudel has been recommended Patan High Court judge, Supreme Court Registrar Mahendra Nath Upadhyaya Patan High Court judge, Hetauda bench, and Truth and Reconciliation Commission Secretary Ramesh Dhakal Janakpur High Court judge.
Former additional judge at Lalitpur Appellate Court Nilam Paudel has been recommended as judge of Janakpur High Court, Rajbiraj Bench. Paudel is niece of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwor Pokharel.
Sarlahi District Court Judge Rajesh Kumar Kaphle has been recommended as judge of Surkhet High Court. Rautahat District Court Judge Lekhnath Dhakal as judge of Janakpur High Court, Rajbiraj Bench, and Bhaktapur District Court Judge Mohammed Junaid Azad as judge of Biratnagar High Court.
The Judicial Council has recommended Chitwan District Court Judge Kul Prasad Sharma as judge of Patan High Court, Lalitpur District Court Judge Bal Mukunda Dawadi as judge of Janakpur High Court, Birgunj Bench, and Parsa District Court Judge Nagendra Lal Karna as judge of Surkhet High Court.
Among them, Dawadi, Karna and Azad had landed in controversy after complaints were filed against them in the Judicial Council alleging poor justice delivery. The council had also conducted investigation against them.
The seven advocates appointed as high court judges are Jagat Bahadur Thapa (Patan), Sarala Kumari Pandey (Patan), Bimal Subedi (Tulsipur, Nepalgunj bench), Renuka Shah (Biratnagar), Dal Kumar Khadka (Pokhara), Ujjwal Shukla (Janakpur) and Navaraj Thapaliya (Dipayal). The meeting of the Judicial Council that convened this morning also recommended Advocate Anju Upreti Dhakal as judge of Biratnagar High Court with effect from April 16 when incumbent judge Umesh Raj Paudel retires from his post.
Renuka Shah is daughter of former chief justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah, Anju Upreti Dhakal is daughter of former Supreme Court justice late Bharat Raj Upreti. Thapaliya is a former leader of the then UML-affiliated student union.