KATHMANDU, March 8: A Supreme Court verdict issued on Wednesday has cleared way for the three nominated members of the National Assembly (NA) to take the oath of office and secrecy.
After a joint bench comprising Kedar Prasad Chalise and Sharada Ghimire issued the verdict stating that it was not necessary to give continuity to the interim order that halted the oath-taking of the three nominees since the government has not been found violating any laws while making their appointments, the way has been cleared for the three nominees -- Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Ram Narayan Bidari and Bimala Paudel Rai -- to take the oath of office and formally become members of upper house.
In its ruling Wednesday, the SC has stated that it was not necessary to continue halting swearing-in of the three nominated NA members as there is no constitutional provision barring withdrawal of earlier recommendations and making new recommendations in their place.
Three nominees of the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government for the National Assembly had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court on February 23 demanding a mandamus order annulling the new appointments made by the current government and appointing themselves to the posts after the new government overturned the previous government's nominations and recommended new names. The erstwhile government had recommended Gopal Basnet, Krishna Prasad Paudel and Chandani Joshi as upper house members.
Responding to the writ petition two days later, the apex court issued an interim order asking the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Parliament Secretariat to postpone the oath of the three nominated NA members for the time being; and also had called petitioners and defendants to be present at the court on March 4 for further discussion. But after the SC deferred the hearing on the case on March 4, the three NA nominees were unable to take oath and also missed the first session of the upper house.