In a first, impeachment process of Nepal anti-corruption watchdog to be initiated from Sunday

Kathmandu [Nepal], Oct. 21: A Parliament meeting on Sunday is set to fix the date and time for discussion on an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, who has been suspended from the post of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority chief following the motion.

Karki, considered one of the most powerful and influential figures in Nepal's state mechanism, was accused by lawmakers of running a "parallel government" and abusing his powers.

Since his appointment in 2013, the anti-corruption czar had emerged as a political figure more powerful than the Prime Minister by targeting businessmen, politicians, lawyers, and silencing critics, editors and publishers.

As many as 157 lawmakers from the governing Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the main opposition CPN-UML on Wednesday evening registered a proposal at the Parliament Secretariat, seeking to impeach Karki, in the first impeachment process ever initiated in the country's parliamentary history, reports the Kathmandu Post.

Based on the existing rules, it will take at least six weeks for the completion of the impeachment process.

Firstly, discussion on the motion could continue for a maximum of three days depending upon the number of lawmakers wishing to speak.

As per Parliament Regulations, the House must start discussion on the motion within seven days from the date of its registration.

Following theoretical discussion on the motion, it will be sent to the Impeachment Recommendation Committee (IRC) which will have a maximum of 30 days to study and investigate into the charges against Karki.

The committee will investigate whether the reasons given for the impeachment are genuine or not. The 11-member IRC formed on Wednesday, however, lacks terms of reference (ToR) and a sub-committee has been formed to draft the ToR.

Once the motion lands at the IRC, it will summon Karki within seven days to let him defend himself. After completing its study and investigation, the IRC will forward its recommendation(s) to Parliament which then will start clause-wise discussion.

If the members of the IRC have conflicting views, a decision will be taken through majority votes. Any member of the committee is free to register note of dissent which too could be decided through voting in Parliament.

If any lawmaker, in course of clause-wise discussion, demands further investigation into the case, the Speaker can resend the motion to the IRC, giving it one more week to carry out further study/ investigation.

The House then will finally start the process to decide the future of Karki through voting. At least two-thirds majority of total number of lawmakers will be required to endorse the motion..

Source: ANI