House dissolution debate: Supreme Court issues show cause notice

Supreme Court of Nepal judiciary system
File image: Supreme Court of Nepal

Kathmandu, December 25

The Supreme Court has issued a show cause notice, ordering the government to explain why it dissolved the House of Representatives.

The five-member constitutional bench of the court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana issued the order as it began hearing 14 writ petitions filed against the government’s decision to dissolve the House.

Likewise, the bench also ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, and the President’s Office to submit original documents related to the decision.

Meanwhile, the bench also decided to seek suggestions from the amicus curiae of Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court Bar Association.

During the hearing today, advocates representing the petitioners had argued the constitution does not allow the prime minister to dissolve the House unless there is a situation that it fails to elect a PM.

Lawyer questions bench composition

Meanwhile, senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi, who has also filed a writ petition, has raised a question over the selection of justices for the bench.

Chief Justice Rana has picked Hari Krishna Karki, Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha, Anil Kumar Sinha, and Tej Bahadur KC for the bench. But, Tripathi says Karki should not be there as he was once the attorney general when the then CPN-UML, a previous constituent of the Nepal Communist Party was leading the government. “He should not sit in this bench as it involves a conflict of interest,” he says.

Tripathi adds he had also informed the chief justice of his concern. But, Rana said in response, as quoted by Tripathi, “You can say that, but it’s up to me to decide. I choose not to consider your suggestion.”

In general, the constitutional bench comprises four senior-most justices after the chief justice. However, CJ Rana had eliminated Deepak Kumar Karki and Mira Khadka, who are immediately below him on the seniority list, while constituting the bench today.

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