The Judicial Council of Nepal ‘sacked’ Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli on Wednesday, a day after he rejected Prime Minister K P Oli’s request to resign or take a long leave. Parajuli had given different dates of birth on various academic and citizenship certificates, and had in fact attained the superannuation age of 65 seven months ago, Council secretary Nripdhoj Niraula said in a statement. Parajuli called the Council’s act illegal and said he would remain the Chief Justice.
The council is believed to have acted under the express directive of Oli, who had invited Parajuli to his residence over tea Tuesday and asked him to step down, failing which he would face “severe consequences”, implying impeachment.
Parajuli had reportedly rejected the Prime Minister’s request, but had left “assuring Oli that he will think about it”, a high-placed source in the judiciary told The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court, which has a total of 19 judges, remains clearly divided along political lines with most of the eight judges who had boycotted the bench for the past two days supporting with Oli, and the rest with other parties, mainly the Nepali Congress.
Minutes after he was sacked, Parajuli administered the oath of office to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who was re-elected Tuesday. Parajuli is presiding over a bench hearing a contempt case against the editor and proprietors of Kantipur Daily, for publishing reports about his different dates of birth.