Kathmandu, March 14: Parliament Speaker Onsari Gharti has said that she has only sent a general information letter to the Judicial Council on the issue of recommendation of names to be appointed justices at the Supreme Court.
Talking to journalists at her office in Singh Durbar today, the Speaker said through the letter she had only sought to inform the Judicial Council that the Legislature-Parliament Business Operation Regulation has not been prepared and so the Parliamentary Special Hearing Committee has not been constituted.
“I am the Speaker and I am aware about the extent of my powers and responsibilities as well as the dignity of the post. I have not taken the decision out of fancy. I have only informed of the reality,” she explained about her decision.
Speaker Gharti’s this view comes in the wake of the side concerned criticising her citing she returned the JC’s recommendation which it had sent for parliamentary hearing. The JC had recommended the names of 11 persons for appointment as Supreme Court justices and forwarded it to the Parliament for conducting special hearing.
The Legislature-Parliament Business Operation Regulations has yet to be formulated as the political parties have differences on certain issues and the issue has been further compounded as the parties also do not agree on the members to be nominated on the Parliamentary Special Hearing Committee.
The Speaker said, “A dispute-like situation has emerged on the JC recommendation. It should not be a matter of dispute. I have only informed the JC that the parliamentary special hearing would not be possible when the Regulations is not in place and the Hearing Committee too has not been constituted. I have not at all taken a decision on the matter. ”
She further said that she sent the letter to that effect only on the basis of the precedent that hearings on the names sent for the purpose not been possible in the past also.
The Speaker expressed her disappointment that attempts were made to escalate the dispute blowing a general matter out of proportion and then publicising it.
Stating she has discussed this issue with the political parties and the Chief Justice also, Speaker Gharti stressed the need of finalising the Regulations at the earliest and urged the sides concerned to resolve the differences over the Hearing Committee.
“I am ready to seek solution to all the issues by calling a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament at the earliest. I have taken the initiatives on my part. I have asked the parties to forthwith forge agreement on the Regulations,” The Speaker said.
She further said that she had only given general information on the Judicial Council also not having all members.
In another context, Speaker Gharti said she was informed beforehand about the arrest of lawmaker Lhyarkyal Lama for concealing bullets in his bank locker.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arrested Lama on Sunday after 14 bullets were found in a locker in his name at the Nepal Investment Bank, Durbar Marga branch. The CIAA was investigating Lama based on complaints that he had amassed wealth beyond his means. Lawmaker Lama remains under suspension at present.