Full text of Supreme Court verdict on Rabi Lamichhane’s citizenship issue

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal’s Supreme Court on Friday annulled the sitting Home Minister’s status as a lawmaker.

A Constitutional Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki comprising Justices Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha, Ishwar Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Sinha issued the final verdict on the case. 

The court has also decided to annul his membership of the House of Representatives (HoR), the lower house of the federal parliament. Lamichhane was elected from Chitwan-2. With the decision, he will not be eligible to serve as the Home Minister of the country as the elected representative. 

On December 14, a writ petition was filed against Rabi Lamichhane, the president of the Rastriya Swatantra Party, at the Supreme Court demanding annulment of his membership from the lower house. The petition was filed by advocate Yuvaraj Poudel and Rabiraj Basaula. 

The petitioner had claimed that Lammichhane was not a Nepali citizen and demanded that he should be removed from chairmanship of the Rastriya Swatantra party. 

The petitioner had made the argument that only Nepali citizens have the constitutional right to contest the elections, cast votes and open a political party in the country. 

What is his case?

Combative journalist Rabi Lamichhane has been accused of not relinquishing his Nepali citizenship even after acquiring citizenship of the United States of America (USA). 

Lamichhane migrated to the United States of America and acquired citizenship there. 

His citizenship issue had already been an issue of controversy when he was a journalist. But the issue fizzled out without a logical conclusion.  His citizenship issue again emerged as a controversial case after he filed candidacy in Chitwan-2 in the parliamentary elections held in November. 

He has been accused of holding two passports as well. 

Here is the full text of the verdict