July 28, 2017 07:47 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 27: Justice delayed is justice denied is how a popular saying goes. However, the Supreme Court on Thursday deferred for the 10th time the verdict on a writ petition demanding resumption of vote counting in Bharatpur Metropolitan City.
The repeated deferral has made the elected officials of Bharatpur Metropolis that witnessed local level election in the first phase on May 14 unable to assume their office even as the local level officials elected during the second phase of local polls on June 28 have already started their duties.
A division bench of justices Om Prakash Mishra and Damodar Bhandari is scheduled to conduct the hearing on the writ petition on Sunday as pleadings from the petitioner and defendants could not be completed on Thursday. The court is expected to reach a decision after hearing the arguments of the petitioners on Sunday.
Attorney General Raman Shrestha, advocates Dinmani Pokhrel, Ramesh Kumar Mainali, and Gunaraj Ghimire pleaded their argument on Thursday.
CPN-UML candidate for the post of ward member in Bharatpur-19, Gunjaman Bishwakarma had filed the writ petition demanding the apex court’s order to resume vote counting after the Election Commission decided for reelection in ward number 19 of Bharatpur Metropolis.
The EC took the decision after CPN (Maoist Center) representatives tore around 90 ballot papers during the vote count of ward-19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City fearing possible defeat of their election candidate.
Earlier on June 21, a joint bench of Acting Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli and Justice Harikrishna Karki had sought the report of the chief election officer on the incident, the monitoring report of the Election Commission (EC), the file prepared by the security agencies, the decision document of the EC to hold a re-election and other documents for study.
The election in Bharatpur has been in the limelight as the erstwhile prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s daughter Renu Dahal was the Maoist Center-Nepali congress common candidate for the post of mayor of the metropolis.