Supreme Court issues show-cause notice over House dissolution

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to defendants over the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

A five-member Constitutional Bench chaired by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR sought a written clarification from the defendants including the President’s Office and Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

The bench including CJ Rana, Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai decided to conduct a continuous hearing on writs filed against the dissolution from June 23. The bench will hear 30 writs filed against the dissolution.

Earlier today, pleading on behalf of petitioners, senior advocate Shambhu Thapa advocated for opening the way for Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba to become the Prime Minister. Senior advocate Thapa contended that such a way should be paved for Deuba through an interim order.

Thapa also claimed that KP Sharma Oli is automatically removed from the post of Prime Minister after he failed to obtain a vote of confidence from the House of Representatives as per Article 76(4) of the Constitution of Nepal.

“There is a provision in the Constitution that requires the person appointed Prime Minister to take a vote of confidence within 30 days. Since Oli has said he could not muster the vote of confidence, he is already relieved from his post. Oli is in a position relieved of his post as he did not get the trust vote from the parliament. Our constitution has protected the parliamentary democracy. The provision in Article 76 of the Constitution is related to the parliamentary system. If this is not implemented, the constitution itself is failed,” he argued.

Another senior advocate Mahadev Yadav, pleading on behalf of the writ petitioners, argued that the House of Representatives was dissolved as the President did not allow the formation of government by the HoR.

“We can make four governments as per the Constitution. It is mentioned that the government can be formed in accordance with Article 76, sub-article 1, 2, 3, and 6. Up to sub-article 3, it is the parties that form the government. This process doesn’t hold when the process reaches sub-article 5,” Yadav explained.

Legal practitioners and opposition alliance had moved the court after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives at midnight on May 21 and announced mid-term elections to be held in two phases.

The opposition alliance had moved the court with signatures of 146 lawmakers seeking a mandamus order to reinstate the House of Representatives and appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister. Writs have been also filed demanding to appoint KP Oli as Prime Minister as per Article 76(5) of the Constitution.