Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Impeachment motion against Karki: Parliamentary panel to seek experts’ advice

The Impeachment Recommendation Committee (IRC) of Parliament has decided to seek advice from experts on an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, who has lost his job as the chief of the constitutional anti-graft agency following a Supreme Court ruling on January 8.

A meeting of the Committee on Monday decided to consult the attorney general, secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and chairman of the Law Commission on Tuesday to discuss the impeachment motion over which lawmakers from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML appear sharply divided.

The IRC was formed on October 19 and the same evening lawmakers from the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the UML had registered the impeachment motion against Karki at the Parliament Secretariat.

On January 8, while responding to a writ challenging Karki’s appointment as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the apex court passed a landmark ruling, declaring Karki unfit to hold the post and annulled his appointment. Karki was appointed the CIAA chief in May 2013.

Now, with Karki no more holding the post, NC and UML lawmakers are divided whether the motion that seeks to impeach him needs to be moved forward.

Lawmakers from the Congress party, which never came up with a clear position on the impeachment motion, are of the view that there is no need to take the motion forward as Karki has already been removed from the post by the court. During Monday’s meeting of the IRC, Congress lawmakers argued that it would be meaningless to move the impeachment motion forward as the apex court has already annulled his appointment.

“The IRC needs to seek clarification from the accused before taking any decision. It will be illogical to seek clarification from a person who has already been removed by the court,” they argued. “We need to respect the SC’s ruling,” Kumari Laxmi Rai, a member in the IRC from the Congress party told the Post.

UML lawmakers, however, say Karki must be impeached as the court has not disqualified him from taking any government responsibility in future.

“The apex court ruling doesn’t stop Parliament from taking the impeachment motion against Karki forward,” said Rewati Raman Bhandari, a member in the IRC from the UML.

After the 11-member IRC failed to reach consensus, it decided to consult experts.
Interestingly, Parliament had sent the impeachment motion against Karki to the IRC the same day the apex court annulled his appointment.

Jan 17, 2017- The Kathmandupost

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