The Supreme Court has nullified the government’s decision to appoint Jaya Bahadur Chand as the new police chief.
A full bench headed by Chief Justice Sushila Karki on Tuesday also ruled that Nawaral Silwal is more suitable for the job.
On 12 February, Chand was named by the government as the new Inspector General of the Nepal Police. Hours later, Silwal, who was in contention for the post, had moved the Apex Court.
The SC ruled that Silwal is more qualified than Chand because he had scored higher marks in performance evaluation and has more academic qualification and training.
Silwal was backed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi to be the new police chief. But the Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, whose support is critical for the Dahal government, preferred Chanda to Silwal.
After weeks of stand-off, Dahal and Nidhi finally relented, and Deuba prevailed. Now the government has to appoint Silwal as the new police chief. Else, Silwal may file a contempt of court case against the government.
Some NC leaders close to Deuba have argued that appointment of the police chief is under the executive’s jurisdiction, and the judiciary cannot infringe it. However, the apex court has ruled that the executive cannot ignore regulations and guidelines while exercising its rights to appoint the police chief.
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