Jan 18 – Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chief Justice (CJ) Dilip Kumar Poudel at a special swearing-in ceremony organised at the National Planning Commission hall inside Singha Durbar, today afternoon. This is the first time in the five-decade history of the Nepali judiciary that the prime minister has sworn in the chief justice. Earlier, the king used to enjoy this authority.
Talking to reporters after the swearing in ceremony, PM Koirala said that an interim government, including the Maoists, will be in place within the next three weeks. “An interim government will be formed in the next 15-20 days. The management of the Maoist arms and army will be completed before the formation of the interim government,” said the PM.
Similarly, CJ Paudel said that he has taken his swearing-in by the PM “normally” and that it would not hamper the independence of the judiciary. “As the prime minister now also enjoys the rights and authority of the head of the state, I have taken this (swearing-in by the PM) very normally. It will not interfere with the independence of the judiciary,” said CJ Paudel.
According to Article 162(2) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal promulgated on January 15, all judges need to take fresh oath of office and the judges who fail to do so will be automatically dismissed from their posts. A special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday had decided that the CJ should take the oath of office by the PM and that the CJ would administer the oath of office to other SC justices.
Clarifying the confusion over the oath taking of the judges under the Interim Constitution, the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday had finalised the procedure and format.