The communication comes without allowing sufficient time to evolve the constitutional process and sounds hastily judgmental based on insufficient and inaccurate information supplied to the Special Representative by unverified sources."
-- Government letter
KATHMANDU, May 24: While defending the controversial impeachment motion tabled in parliament against sitting Chief Justice Sushila Karki, the government has warned the United Nations (UN) against interfering in the exclusive jurisdiction of a sovereign state.
Responding to an urgent appeal sent by UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Diego Garcia-Sayan on May 5, the government has claimed that the impeachment motion registered in parliament on April 30 against CJ Karki is neither unconstitutional, nor extra-constitutional. The Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers warned the UN not to interfere in the internal and exclusive jurisdiction of a sovereign state' in the strong-worded letter sent to Garcia Sayan's office in Geneva on May 17.
Expressing serious concerns over the impeachment motion brought against CJ Karki ahead of a crucial hearings, Special Rapporteur Garcia-Sayan had warned that he could take the matter to the UN Security Council if the government did not withdraw the impeachment motion. The senior UN official raised several questions over the impeachment motion and also lambasted the government and political parties over the inordinate delay in providing transitional justice to conflict victims and attempts at bringing the judiciary under their shadow.
The government has claimed that information contained in the appeal regarding the impeachment motion does not reflect the real facts and even demonstrates lack of knowledge of the relevant constitutional provisions in Nepal. "The communication comes without allowing sufficient time to evolve the constitutional process and sounds hastily judgmental based on insufficient and inaccurate information supplied to the Special Representative by unverified sources," stated the letter, terming the urgent appeal an attempt "to influence the legitimate constitutional process going on in a democratic nation."
While maintaining that the impeachment motion is in line with the Clause (2) of Article 101 of the Constitution, the government has said that the issue of impeachment is now incumbent upon the parliament and the Supreme Court to dispose within their respective constitutional jurisdiction. "Such a matter cannot become a subject of comment by any individual or office bearers of the United Nations or pass judgment that undermines the sanctity of constitutional process. The matters remain within the internal and exclusive jurisdiction of a sovereign state," warned the letter.
Although the CJ no longer remains suspended after the apex court on May 5 stayed the impeachment motion, the government has not withdrawn the motion from parliament. The main opposition party, CPN-UML has been even obstructing parliament, demanding that the government withdraw the impeachment motion against CJ Karki.
The letter, which the government has kept confidential till date, has mentioned that the government was forced to register impeachment motion against CJ Karki as the judiciary interfered in the prerogative of the executive to appoint a new police chief. "It must be underlined that the impeachment motion filed by the members of the Legislature-Parliament is against the incumbent Chief Justice Sushila Karki but not against judiciary per se. Nepal's commitment to democratic values, independence of judiciary, rule of law, separation of power and to our obligation emanating from international instruments that we are a state party is total," stated the letter, while arguing that "threats to the judges from political leaders" was unfounded.