KATHMANDU, May 5: Following the Supreme Court stay order reinstating Chief Justice Sushila Karki and putting the impeachment motion against her on hold, the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have discussed whether or not to move the apex court for a revision of the order.
A meeting of top leaders of the two parties including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of CPN (Maoist Center) and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba as well as legal experts from the same parties held a meeting at the prime minister’s office Friday to discuss the option.
Some of the party leaders said that the government can demand a revision of the order, arguing that the judiciary had infringed the prerogative parliament.
“The order is against the constitution and it has infringed parliament’s prerogative. So the government can seek a review. We are discussing that option,” Maoist lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari told Republica.
The meeting of the two ruling parties came after the apex court issued an order to reinstate CJ Karki, who was suspended on Sunday after 249 lawmakers from the two parties registered the impeachment motion at the parliament secretariat.
“The court order to halt the parliamentary process is an interference in the prerogatives of parliament. It is also against the principal of separation of powers between the legislative, judiciary and executive branches,” said Maoist Center Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.
Stating that Article 103 (2) of the constitution bars the court from questioning any issue which is under discussion in the House, top leaders from the two ruling parties reached the conclusion that the court was exceeding its jurisdiction, said a participant in the meeting.
The impeachment motion registered on Sunday couldn’t be tabled in the House on Friday as various opposition parties resorted to obstructions.
Though Speaker Onsari Gharti fixed 1 pm on Friday for tabling the impeachment motion for discussion in the House, she had to defer the meeting for Sunday following picketing in the well by CPN-UML lawmakers. Lawmakers from eight opposition parties including UML demanded the withdrawal of the impeachment motion, terming it a misuse of constitutional provisions.
Opposition lawmakers picketed the well and obstructed Min Bahadur Biswakarma, the proposer of the impeachment motion, from going to the rostrum to table the motion for discussion. Later, the Supreme Court issued its stay order to parliament not to forward the impeachment motion.
Meanwhile, main opposition party UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said that the stay order from the Supreme Court over the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Karki has put a break on an attempt to end the independence of the judiciary.
Speaking at a function organized to introduce party candidates for the upcoming local elections, Oli criticized the NC and Maoist for taking the ‘illegal’ and ‘unprecedented’ move of registering an impeachment motion against the chief justice for not handing down a verdict in their favor.