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Nepali PM appoints chief justice

By Xinhua

Kathmandu : Nepali Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has appointed Kedar Prasad Giri the Chief Justice of Nepal, 28 days after he faced a parliamentary hearing, local newspaper The Himalayan Times reported Saturday.

Though the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee was divided over Giri’s appointment, Koirala appointed him on Friday, citing the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007. The Chief Justice post was vacant after Dilip Kumar Poudel’s retirement on Sept. 7.

This is the first time in the history of Nepal that the prime minister has appointed the Chief Justice. The king used to do that.

Giri, formerly acting chief justice, expressed happiness over the appointment. “I will speak about my plan in the judiciary after taking the oath of office,” Giri said.

After taking his interview on Sept. 11, the lawmakers of all left parties, including the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), had opposed Giri’s appointment. However, lawmakers of the Nepali Congress had supported his appointment.

Nepali Attorney General Yagya Murti Banjade said that there was no legal hurdle of the appointment. “Though the parliamentary hearing special committee was divided, it did not unanimously reject his appointment; so it will be improper not to appoint him the Chief Justice.”

Article 103 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal promulgated on Jan. 15, 2007 reads, “The Prime Minister shall appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council”.