Nepal’s first woman acting Chief Justice Sushila Karki has assumed office, months after the country got its first woman President and Speaker.
63-year-old Karki, the senior-most judge in Nepal’s Supreme Court, has done her Masters in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. She is known for her ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption, succeeded former chief justice Kalyan Shrestha who retired from the office on Tuesday.
Though Karki’s name was recommended by the Constitutional Council, her formal appointment to the top post could not be announced without passing through the Parliamentary Hearing Committee which was not yet formed due to some technical reasons. Therefore, the government appointed her as the acting Chief Justice.
Karki is yet to take oath of office and secrecy, acting spokesperson of the apex court Bishworaj Poudyal said. She was appointed as one of the judges of the Supreme Court on temporary basis eight years ago. Prior to this, she had been serving in the legal sector in the capacity of the senior advocate. She became the permanent judge of the Supreme Court some six years ago.
Karki did her Bachelor’s degree in Law from Tribhuvan University in Nepal in 1978. She is also known for judgements allowing women to pass their citizenship to their children, previously open only to men in Nepal.
Last year in October, Bidhya Devi Bhandari was elected as Nepal’s first woman president.
Also last year, Nepalese lawmakers elected the country’s first woman Speaker of Parliament ; UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Onsari Gharti Magar, following formation of a new government after promulgation of the Constitution.
The Chief Justice of Nepal is the head of the judicial branch of Nepal and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Nepal. The Chief Justice is the highest judicial officer in the country, and acts as a chief administrative officer for all the judicial system.