Supreme Court Justice Bharat Raj Upreti resigned on Thursday. His resignation comes just two weeks before the curtain falls on the term of temporary SC justices.
By mid-December the apex court would have only six justices, which will affect the justice delivery. As per the constitutional provision, a parliamentary hearing is a must for the appointment of justices at the SC. Upreti submitted his resignation, effective from Sunday, before the apex court administration.
“I spent four years in the Supreme Court and now I feel like working in the private sector,” Upreti told the Post. He, one of the seven temporary justices who came to the apex court in January 2009, was set to retire on January 21. A petition is subjudice in the SC, arguing that the justices who have undergone parliamentary hearing once, could be retained.
Asked what would he do if the court issues the petition, an irate Upreti remarked, “Do you think I would accept a post at the mercy of somebody?” But he went on to add that the process to make justices permanent had been delayed.
Replying to a question that whether he felt let down by the judicial leadership for failing to expedite the appointment process, Upreti refused to comment. “How can I say that? You should ask this question to the chief justice.”
Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, who also heads the Judicial Council—responsible for the appointment of justices and judges—said it was Upreti’s personal decision and did not want to comment further. “As far as the appointment of judges is concerned we are working on that,” said Regmi.
But former justice of the apex court, Balram KC, said, “Upreti’s resignation is an unfortunate incident as judiciary would suffer if competent people resign.” “Bharat Upreti is an expert in corporate law. Judiciary needs people like him. All the temporary justices are competent and need to be retained,” said KC.
Former Justice KC rued the day that CJ Regmi was well aware of the situation but remained “inactive”. “A large Bench led by the incumbent chief justice had put a term cap on the Constituent Assembly. Therefore, he was aware of the situation and should have ensured that the vacant posts are fulfilled and temporary justices are reappointed,” added KC.
Posted on: 2012-11-30 09:16