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Supreme Court fails to deliver verdict on Bharatpur repolling

Supreme Court of Nepal

Kathmandu, June 20

The Supreme Court failed to deliver the verdict on whether to redo voting in ward 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City or resume halted vote counting, on Tuesday as well.

The Court, however, has ordered that the original copy of the Election Commission’s decision about holding the re-voting in the ward be submitted within a week.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli and Justice Hari Krishna Karki made the order.

Likewise, the Court also ordered the defendants to submit the torn ballot papers as well as files related to the case filed against Maoist cadres who allegedly torn the papers.

Advocates Shambhu Thapa, Hari Upreti and Tikaram Bhattarai had presented arguments on behalf of the petitioners whereas senior advocate Harihar Dahal had defended the Election Commission’s decision.

Earlier, the Court had ordered the government not to implement the decision till the next hearing.

The CPN-UML ward member candidate Gunjaman BK and advocate Tulsiram Pandey, who happens to be a voter from the same ward, had filed the writ demanding that the Commission’s decision be annulled and the halted counting be resumed by declaring torn 90 ballot papers as invalid.

The Election Commission on June 3 had decided to redo the poll in Bharatpur after some Maoist cadres reportedly torn ballot papers while the vote counting was underway.

The ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre, which had formed an election alliance, had demanded the re-voting whereas the main opposition UML was in favour of resuming the vote counting delcaring the torn ballot papers invalid.

The NC-MC candidate Renu Dahal was lagging behind UML’s Devi Gyawali by few hundred votes in the mayoral race while the counting was halted after the incident.

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