CJ Rana reconstitutes Constitutional Bench to hear House Dissolution case

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Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR has reconstituted the five-member Constitutional Bench to hear the writ petitions filed at the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the restoration of the House of Representatives (HoR).

CJ Rana made the recent reshuffle on Sunday on the basis of the seniority of SC Justices. With the recent reshuffle, Justices Dipak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Anand Mohan Shrestha have been picked in the Bench headed by Rana himself. 

As Justice Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha has some health issues,another Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada has been placed on the bench.

The newly formed Bench is scheduled to hear the petitions that challenge the dissolution of the House, on Sunday itself. 

Though the hearing over the writ petitions filed against the dissolution of HoR started on May 28, it could not proceed ahead impacted by the issue following the row over formation of the bench. The petitioners demanded that Justices duo KC and Shrestha not be included in the Bench. 

Saying Justice Shrestha had made a verdict over the name of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and Justice KC had quashed  a petition to review the apex court’s verdict to invalidate NCP, law practitioners, who have been pleading for writ petitioners, argued that they [Shrestha and KC] should not sit in the bench. 

Meanwhile, two other Justices—Dr Bhattarai and Karki-- announced they would not remain in the constitutional bench after KC and Shrestha informed them in written that they would not leave the bench.

More than two dozen writ petitions have been registered in the court challenging President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s move to dissolve the House for the second time on May 22. Twenty-six writs including the one filed by a group of 146 members in the dissolved House of Representatives (HoR) demand the restoration of the lower House of parliament and appointment of NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister of Nepal as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution of Nepal. 

Similarly, four people including advocates Dhanjeet Basnet, Krishna Ghimire and Rajaram Ghimire reached the court demanding that Prime Minister Oli should be reappointed as the prime minister as per the Article 76 (5) of the constitution being based on his claim of commanding a majority in parliament. 

The writs seeking the re-appointment of Oli and the elections within the scheduled dates state that President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s May 21 decision to dismiss the claim staked by PM Oli  was against the Political Parties Act, 2017.

It may be noted that the President refused to entertain the proposals submitted on May 21 by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, in response to her call for the formation of a government under Article 76 (5), staking a claim to the appointment on the Prime Ministerial post, citing that both applications failed to prove of commanding a majority in the parliament.  

The majority of writs (26) seek to repeal the President’s May 22 move to dissolve the HoR on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and announce the fresh (mid-term) polls for November 12 and 19.



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