The Supreme Court (SC) is set to hear all five cases against Lok Man Singh Karki, the suspended chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, on December 1.
A full bench of Justices Jagadish Sharma Paudel, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai on Thursday set the date for the hearing. The bench was responding to a writ filed by Advocate Om Prakash Aryal.
“The court has decided to start hearing on all cases related to Karki beginning December 1,” said Bishwaraj Poudel, joint spokesperson for the SC. Poudel also informed that Karki on Thursday had sent his legal representative to the court to seek additional time in a case that challenges his appointment.
On October 17, Karki was served a court notice asking him to appear before the court in relation to a petition filed at the SC in which his appointment as the chief of the anti-graft body has been challenged. Advocate Aryal had challenged Karki’s appointment as the CIAA chief, saying the entire appointment process was unlawful as “Karki’s tenure in government service falls short of what has been provisioned in the constitution and he does not hold high moral character to lead the anti-graft body” as enshrined in the constitution.
The SC on September 17 had decided to review its earlier verdict regarding Karki’s appointment and on September 21 issued summons to him. But the notice could not be delivered till October 17 due to various reasons. On one occasion, ward officials, whose presence was necessary for pasting the summons at Karki’s house, failed to show up, while on the other, a court official tasked with delivering the summons “suddenly disappeared”. The SC’s yet another attempt to serve the notice was foiled by a group of locals comprising Karki’s aides. The court officials had finally managed to paste the SC notice at Karki’s house in Naya Baneshwor on October 17.
As per the rule, Karki should have responded within 15 days from the day of delivery of the notice. But Karki’s legal representative showed up at court on Thursday only, almost after three weeks.
Aryal has filed another case against Karki and his supporters at the SC for “obstructing legal proceedings” by trying to prevent court officials from delivering the summons. In a supplementary application filed at the SC, Aryal has also demanded an interim order to terminate all the facilities given to Karki.
Karki’s legal representative on Thursday also received Tuesday’s court order in which Karki and his aides have been asked to appear before court in seven days to face the charge of obstructing judicial proceedings.
“There are altogether five cases against Karki. The hearing on all cases will start on December 1,” said Aryal. “But Karki, along with his aids involved in obstructing court officials in the course of their duty, must appear before court in person within seven days.”
Karki was appointed chief of the anti-graft body by then Khil Raj Regmi government in May 2013 following a political agreement among major parties. His appointment to the post was hugely criticised and debated.
After a little more than three years after installing Karki in the constitutional office, more than 150 lawmakers from the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the CPN-UML on October 19 filed an impeachment motion against Karki at the Parliament Secretariat.
- Sept 17: A Supreme Court full bench decides to review its earlier verdict on Karki’s appointment as the CIAA chief
- Sept 21: SC issues summons to Karki to present himself before court within 15 days from receiving the order
- Oct 17: Court delivers summons in third attempt after two failed attempts due to various reasons—one of them was obstruction by a group of locals comprising Karki’s aides
- Oct 21: A supplementary application filed at SC demanding an order to terminate all facilities given to Karki
- Nov 3: Case filed against Karki and his aides, accusing them of abusing authority to obstruct judicial proceedings
- Nov 8: SC orders Karki and his aides to appear before court in person in seven days to face charge of obstructing judicial proceedings
- Nov 10: SC decides to hear all five cases against Karki on December 1
Published: The Kathmandu Post 11-11-2016