The special committee for parliamentary hearing on Monday has failed to take decision on endorsement of Deepak Raj Joshi for the post of chief justice. The next meeting of the committee has been called for Wednesday.
Endorsement of Joshi has been stalled due to the dispute about his educational certificates.
Lawmakers of Communist party of Nepal (CPN) were not in favor of endorsement of Joshi but the committee failed to take any decision with lawmakers of the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) undecided.
CPN member in the committee Yogesh Bhattarai said the meeting could not take a decision after NC lawmakers said they will have to consult with party president and parliamentary party leader Sher Bahadur Deuba on the issue. “We had offered to stop the meeting for two hours. The meeting has been postponed for two days after they said they will need time to form opinions after discussion with the party president,” Bhattarai told Setopati.
NC lawmaker Pushpa Bhusal said the meting has been postponed on consensus. “This meeting has been postponed on consensus as it used to happen in the past,” Bhusal stated.
The CPN members in the special committee for parliamentary hearing earlier on Monday held a meeting with deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang in presence of former attorney general Hari Phuyal and lawyer Tika Ram Bhatatrai before the meeting for taking decision on Joshi’s endorsement.
The CPN lawmakers after the meeting told Setopati that they are not in favor of endorsing Joshi.
A simple majority can endorse recommended candidate while two-third majority is required to reject the candidate after parliamentary hearing. The ruling coalition including the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal has two-third majority in the special committee.
Approval of Joshi has been put on hold despite the four-hour-long parliamentary hearing ending on Thursday. The committee going against the practice of taking decision on the day of parliamentary hearing had called a meeting on Friday to decide on his endorsement. But the meeting did not take place and it was postponed for Sunday. It was again postponed for Monday.
The controversy about his educational qualification is currently being discussed at the highest political level. The meeting of special committee on Friday was postponed to Sunday after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli discussed the issue with oldest member of the special committee currently acting as chairman Laxman Lal Karna, member Yogesh Bhattarai and others. Members had told PM Oli that the meeting should be postponed as new facts emerged about Joshi’s educational certificates.
Committee members told Setopati that they found Friday morning that symbol number (3667) for SLC equivalent certificate submitted by Joshi to the committee was in name of one Hem Raj Lekali in the records for that year.
“The symbol number was in the name of another person in records,” a member told Setopati. “We have informed the PM about that. The committee will now decide in accordance to the instructions received from above.”
Another member stated that the recovered document is just a photocopy and the committee is undecided about its authenticity. “It is a photocopy. The IGP controversy was due to a photocopy. We need to study further,” the member told Setopati.
Sources at the PM Secretariat also confirmed that the PM has received documents about Joshi.
Kantipur daily on July 24 had also published a news report claiming that Joshi had the same symbol number for two separate examinations.
“Joshi has mentioned that he passed grade 10 in 2029 BS (1972 AD). He has mentioned the name of Bijay Memorial High School while submitting the details of the school he passed the secondary level from in another part of the same progress report. The year of passing the exams is 2029 and symbol number 3667. The symbol number is 3667 also in the details of his mark sheet issued by the head office of Nepal Rashtriya Bidhyapeeth in Birgunj,” Kantipur reported.
Joshi was recommended for the post of chief justice by the Constitutional Council on June 12.
The recommended candidate is appointed as chief justice by the president only after approval following parliamentary hearing.