SC’s Constitutional Bench conducting final hearing on House dissolution case from today

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Supreme Court (SC) is conducting a final hearing on writs filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives from Wednesday.

A five-member Constitutional Bench chaired by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR that includes Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai will conduct a continuous hearing on the case from today.

The apex court has set aside 32 hours for the final hearing. Duration for the debate has been fixed for the lawyers representing plaintiffs and defendants and amicus curiae to systematize proceedings. The court has allocated 15 hours each for plaintiffs and defendants and two hours for the amicus curiae.

Earlier on June 9, the bench had sought a written clarification from the defendants including the President’s Office and Office of Prime Minister, and Council of Ministers, and called amicus curiae to advise the court. All the defendants including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli have submitted a written response to the court.

Oli on Thursday had submitted an 18-point response to the apex court defending his move to dissolve the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister had argued that he had recommended dissolving the Parliament as per the constitutional obligation entrusted to him as ‘there was no basis for the formation of an alternative government’. PM Oli had further said that the multi-party system will be pushed to a crisis if the court decides to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister, adding that the majority would not be determined by the number of parliamentarians.

Likewise, the office of the President had sent a 14-point written response to the Supreme Court regarding the HoR dissolution. In the response sent to the SC through the Office of the Attorney General, it was stated that the President has the right to decide based on whether the Prime Minister can obtain a vote of confidence as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution of Nepal.

Legal practitioners and opposition alliance had moved the court after President 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.