Supreme Court stays Cabinet expansion, 20 ministers dismissed

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stayed Cabinet expansion and reshuffle by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.

A joint bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR and Justice Prakash Kumar Dhungana issued the order while hearing six petitions filed at the apex court. The order states that a caretaker Prime Minister can’t expand the Council of Ministers.

With the decision, 20 ministers have been barred from performing their duties. Now, only Prime Minister Oli, Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Law Minister Lilanath Shrestha, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, and Physical Infrastructure Minister Basanta Kumar Nembang will be in the Cabinet.

On June 4, PM Oli had reshuffled the Council of Ministers, inducting eight ministers and two state ministers from the Mahantha Thakur-Rajendra Mahato faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal (JSPN). The Prime Minister had expanded Cabinet again on June 10 inducting seven new ministers and one state minister while the case was sub-judice at the apex court.

A total of six writs have been filed against the Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Oli. Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi and advocate Kanchan Krishna Neupane among others had filed the petitions.

The writs had demanded that the new appointments and reshuffle made by the President in the Council of Ministers on the recommendation by Prime Minister should be revoked arguing the move to be unconstitutional. Senior Advocate Tripathi, in the writ, had further sought an interim order from the court to stop newly-appointed Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers to carry out duties until a final verdict.