Hearing on HoR dissolution writ petition goes short of time; next hearing on Friday
Kathmandu - The hearing on the writ petition filed at Supreme Court went short of time on Wednesday, so it is to be continued next on Friday. The hearing being conducted on the constitutional bench witnessed the pleading for extended full bench and constitutional bench. On behalf of the writ petitioners, senior advocates Krishna Prasad Bhandari, Harihar Dahal, Raman Kumar Shrestha, Hari Upreti, Dinesh Tripathi, Dr Chandra Kant Gyawali and Shambhu Thapa pleaded for the hearing of writ petition on extended full bench. They argued that it would be difficult to cater justice by the bench having five Justices, so precedent of extended full bench comprising 11 Justices should be followed for comprehensive hearing and subsequent verdict.
However, Attorney General Agni Kharel said the Supreme Court has the ultimate right to interpret constitution and it is the constitutional bench to conduct hearing on serious constitutional issues. So, the present case should not be shifted to other bench, he added. In response to a question by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, Attorney General Kharel said, "Court is transparent. Even the cases in full bench come to constitutional bench. The constitutional bench is formed to interpret the constitution related issues." Among 13 writ petitioners, 11 had filed complementary writ petitions on January 6, demanding the hearing be conducted on extended full bench. CJ Rana and Justices Hari Krishna Karki, Bishwoambhar Prasad Shrestha, Anil Kumar Sinha, and Tej Bahadur KC were initially in the constitutional bench.
As Karki was questioned in the bench, Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla was assigned in his place. Karki, before becoming Justice at SC, was the attorney general in the KP Sharma Oli-led government, which was questioned by the advocates. There is a provision of five justices assigned by CJ in the constitutional bench. On December 25, the constitutional bench had issued order in the name of the government to furnish written response why the HoR was dissolved. The Offices and Speaker furnished the written response to the court on January 3. Earlier, the apex court had ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers and the President's Office to submit original documents related to the recommendation and decision regarding the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HoR). It had also directed to acquire the documents including original registrar showing registration of no-confidence motion in the House of Representatives.
Likewise, Nepal Bar Association (NBA) had recommended senior advocates Badri Bahadur Karki, Satish Krishna Kharel and Bijaya Kanta Mainali while the Supreme Court Bar Association recommended senior advocates Purna Man Shakya and Geeta Pathak in the Amicus curiae. Some 14 writ petitions were registered at the apex court challenging HoR dissolution by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minster. Advocate Prabesh KC had registered a writ on behalf of members of the dissolved HoR, Dev Prasad Gurung, Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, Shashi Shrestha and Ram Kumari Jhankri naming the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minster and Council of Ministers and the HoR Speaker as defendants.
The writ had demanded the annulment of the decision as it had deprived their right to represent the HoR for five years. Likewise, senior advocates including Diensh Tripathi and Shalikram Sapkota, Gyanendra Raj Aran, Smriti Kharel, Kanchan Krishna Neupane, Santosh Bhandari, Deepak Rai, Amita Gautam, Lokendra Bahadur KC, Kamal Bahadur Khatry, Maniram Upadhyay, Tulasi Simkhada and Achyut Prasad Kharel had also registered writ petitions against the HoR dissolution decision.