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Editorial: Judiciary has been bought

Editorial: Judiciary has been bought
Suspended Chief Justice Cholendra Rana JBR deserves impeachment for all the malpractices he has committed as the head of the Supreme Court. His testimony before the Parliamentary committee has exposed the extent of corruption in the judiciary. For a long time, there were murmurs of nexus between politicians and justices.  Now, by the account of Rana himself, we know it for fact. There has been no comments from the political leaders regarding the charges against Rana, and their silence speaks volumes. Our judiciary has been bought—there is no other way of putting this.

Our judges and justices engage in bargaining before handing down judgments. This episode will further erode people’s trust in the judiciary.

A former chief justice has been outed for his corrupt ways. This cannot be easily dismissed. So will our political leaders take extreme measures to clean up the judiciary? Highly doubtful. They are equally responsible for the current mess. Lest it be forgotten, in 2021, parties in both ruling and opposition took to the street and publicly warned the Supreme Court of ‘consequences’ if the ruling on Parliament dissolution by then Prime Minister KP Oli is not delivered in their favor. They knew about the court’s dirty secret and they tried to use it as a bargaining chip. Even in the case of Rana’s impeachment, it has been revealed that top leaders from the ruling parties sent their emissaries to convince the former into tendering his resignation and saving his face. In 2021, a team led by justice Hari Krishna Karki in 2021 submitted a report stating that corruption and irregularities are rampant in the judiciary. It clearly spoke about ‘brokers’ who maintained the line of communication between justices and top leaders of political parties. But nothing came of that damning report. It is high time that someone took steps to reform the judiciary. But, the question is who will lead this reform. The cruel irony is that we need those same political parties to restore the sanctity of the judiciary. True, they are not going to act of their own volition or their conscience.   So, the media and civil society should press them into doing the right thing.