KATHMANDU, Feb 13: The government decision to appoint Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jay Bahadur Chand as Inspector General (IGP) of Nepal Police has run into trouble, with the Supreme Court staying the decision within hours of its implementation. The apex court has said the stay order is only for until it decides whether or not an interim order is required.
A cabinet meeting on Sunday morning picked Chand as IGP of Nepal Police and Singha Bahadur Shrestha as IGP of the Armed Police Force.
The government decision has run into trouble as the single bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki issued an immediate interim order later in the day not to implement the decision.
The chief justice was responding to a writ petition filed by advocate Kapil Dev Dhakal
"This immediate interim order has been issued in the name of the defendants, asking them to stall all the steps taken with regard to appointing DIG Jay Bahadur Chand as IGP, to not do anything further regarding the appointment and assumption of office, and to not get anybody else to do any of these things," stated Chief Justice Karki in her order.
The chief justice said that the interim order is for until the court conducts hearings for both sides and draws a conclusion as to whether or not an interim order is needed in this connection. The next hearing is scheduled for February 19.
Karki argued that the immediate interim order was issued after petitioner Dhakal and DIG Nawaraj Silwal registered supplementary applications following the government decision. The petitioners said the decision ran counter to the Police Act and Regulations.
Silwal is among four contenders for the post of IGP, the other three being Chand, DIG Prakash Aryal and DIG Bam Bahadur Bhadari.
Government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Ram Bhadadur Karki informed the press that the meeting had also appointed the new IGP of the Armed Police Force.
Incumbent IGP Upendra Kanta Aryal will be retiring as his 30 years of service ends on Monday.
The government, however, is yet to pick an acting police chief to fill in until the issue is settled. "Since IGP Aryal's term is expiring on Monday, the government will likely pick the acting chief the same day," said Nepal Police spokesman Thakur Prasad Gyawali.