Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi should not keep his position on the Supreme Court after he was appointed today as the country’s interim prime minister so as to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
“The Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, has demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights in Nepal,” said Ben Schonveld, ICJ’s South Asia Director in Kathmandu. “To preserve the Nepali judiciary’s hard-won independence, the Chief Justice should step down from his post as soon as he assumes his position at the top of the Executive Branch.”
The Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was appointed as Chairperson of the Council of Ministers – effectively the country’s Prime Minister – today.
The country’s four key political parties agreed on an arrangement whereby Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi will refrain from participating in his duties as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court while exercising powers of the Prime Minister conferred by the Interim Constitution, in brokering an election of the Constituent Assembly.
After the election is held, the agreement provides that the Chief Justice will resume his power and regular duties as Chief Justice.
In the interim, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court will act as Chief Justice.
“Appointing the serving Chief Justice to act as Chairperson of the Council of Ministers throws the country into uncharted constitutional waters,” Schonveld added. “This agreement obliterates Continue reading ICJ calls on Nepali Chief Justice to step down as judge after appointment as Prime Minister | CIJL-ICJ