Parmanand Jha

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Parmanand Jha
परमानन्द झा
परमानन्द.jpg
1st Vice President of Nepal
In office
23 July 2008 – 31 October 2015[1]
President Ram Baran Yadav
Bidhya Devi Bhandari
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Nanda Kishor Pun
Personal details
Born 1946 (age 70–71)
Darbhanga, Bihar Province, British India
Nationality Nepali , Nepalese or Gurkha
Political party Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum

Parmanand Jha (Nepali: परमानन्द झा; born 1946) is a Nepali politician who served as the first Vice President of Nepal from 23 July 2008 to 31 October 2015. Previously he served as a Supreme Court judge. He was born and brought up in Darbhanga in the Indian State of Bihar with his maternal uncle's home to a Nepali parents - according to Hindu traditions. His father's belongs to historical Mithila region of Nepal, and so he is a descendent native citizen and federal subject of Nepal.[2] Jha resigned as a judge in December 2007 after he was not proposed by the Judicial Council as a permanent judge at the apex court, following allegations of involvement in drug smuggling[citation needed]. Later, Jha joined political life and became a member of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, one of several organizations agitating against dominance of Nepal's politics by the minority ruling elite Bahuns (hill Brahmins) of Pahari population against the Madhesi origin Nepalis.[3] On 19 July 2008, he was elected as Vice-President of Nepal by the Constituent Assembly.[3]

He began his first term of office as Vice-President of Nepal on 23 July 2008 by taking the oath of office from President Ram Baran Yadav at the Sheetal Niwas Presidential Palace in Maithili (despite he intended to take oath in Hindi) in the presence of Prime Minister Girijaprasad Koirala and others.

Hindi oath controversy[edit]

Jha's legitimacy as Vice-President was challenged for taking the oath of office in Hindi[4] by Nepalis.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Jha's mother tongue is Maithili but he is also fluent in Hindi, Bengali, and English.

A written petition was filed by Advocate Balkrishna Neupane at the apex court claiming that the oath was unconstitutional as it was taken in a language not recognized by the interim constitution.[4] After a year long court procedure, the Supreme Court on 24 July 2009 ordered Jha to retake the oath of office and secrecy for the second time "in accordance with the Constitution," ruling that taking oath in Hindi was not constitutional.

However, Jha objected to the Supreme Court verdict, accusing the court of being biased and of conflict of interests. He stated that he would decide whether or not to retake the oath after consulting political parties and the "people he represents," i.e., the Madhesias who principally speak Maithili and Bhojpuri. He demanded changes to the law to ensure that all languages (i.e., Hindi) "are given due respect." [10]

The Supreme Court's deadline for retaking the oath expired on 30 August 2009. As Jha did not swear once again the oath of office, the office was considered to have become vacant from 31 August 2009. In order to maintain political and ethnic inclusiveness, the Nepalese government did not seek a new Vice-President but continued to work with Jha towards a compromise, seeking to re-instate him. Changes were made to the law to allow the oath of office to be taken in native ethnic languages, e.g., Jha's native Maithili, and on 7 February 2010, he accordingly took a fresh oath of office as Vice-President in the Maithili language.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nanda Bahadur Pun elected Vice-President of Nepal". Himalayan Times. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  2. ^ वन इंडिया » देश उपराष्ट्रपति का भाई साईकिल का दुकानदार Oneindia.in. Published 25 July 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2013
  3. ^ a b "Jha vows to work in independent manner". Nepalnews.com, news from Nepal as it happens. Mercantile Communications Pvt. Ltd. 19 July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Associated Press (28 July 2008). "New Nepal VP sued for taking oath in Hindi". The China Post. Kathmandu, Nepal. 
  5. ^ "Unknown (dead link)". Nepalnews.com, news from Nepal as it happens. Mercantile Communications Pvt. Ltd. 28 July 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ Students protest against VP Jha for swearing-in in Hindi (English). Nepalnews Mercantile. 25 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Unknown (dead link)". Kantipur Publications Pvt. Ltd. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Mind your language, Mr. Vice President". United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal, We blog for peace and democracy in Nepal. Archived from the original on 29 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "Nepali First Vice President (VP) - Parmananda Jha swears in Hindi to re-establish Hindi as a Lingua Franca in Madhesi and Pahadi". "We Love Parmanand Jha" blog. 28 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Is Nepal V-P on collision course with SC?". South Asia. Zee News Limited. 25 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Jha takes fresh oath in Nepali & Maithali to revive VP post". Nepalnews.com, news from Nepal as it happens. Mercantile Communications Pvt. Ltd. 8 February 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ Prerana Marasini (2010-02-08). "Jha takes oath in Nepali and Mainhili". The Hindu. Kathmandu, Nepal. 

External links[edit]