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Himself a defendant, CJ Rana not to hear the Constitutional Council Ordinance case

Kathmandu, August 27

The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has begun a hearing of the writ petitions filed against the Constitutional Council Ordinance introduced by the previous Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in December 2020, days before dissolving the House of Representatives.

Although the chief justice leads the constitutional bench, the bench today decided that a new bench would be formed next week to continue the hearing and there will not be Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana, informs senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi quoting Rana during the hearing today. Rana himself is a defendant of the case and petitioners pleading today said Rana should rescue himself from the conflict of interest.

With CJ Rana’s decision to abstain from the hearing today, the senior-most justice Deepak Kumar Karki will lead the hearing from next week.

Oli had brought the ordinance to reduce the quorum to hold the council meeting as the then opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and House Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota denied taking a part in it. Following that, Oli, Chief Justice Rana and National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina had nominated officials for the constitutional positions, which the government had endorsed without holding the constitutionally required parliamentary hearing in the absence of the House.

Based on the ordinance, dozens of officials have been appointed on February 3 and June 24, and various international bodies have questioned their fairness, putting the country’s repute at stake.

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