KATHMANDU, Jan 16: Prime Minister K P Oli has clarified that he has never held a meeting with Supreme Court justices assigned to the Constitutional Bench.
The remarks of Prime Minister Oli comes a day after a section of the media reported that he held secret meetings with the justices assigned to the Constitutional Bench that has been entrusted with the responsibility of deciding the fate of the dissolved House of Representatives (HoR).
Addressing the leaders of his faction of the NCP from Province 1 in the capital on Saturday, Prime Minister Oli claimed that he does not even know the justices, let alone meeting them except Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla.
"I had seen Sapana Malla Pradhan in some functions when she was still serving as an advocate. I have not even seen others. Perhaps I do not recognize them either," he said.
The alleged meeting between Prime Minister Oli and SC Justices assigned to the Constitutional Bench has courted a serious controversy even as the apex court on Friday evening refuted the news.
On Friday, the issue was raised by former lawmaker Shashi Shrestha on behalf of the petitioners in the course of hearing on the writs filed against the dissolution of parliament by PM Oli. She said that the reported meeting between Prime Minister Oli and SC justices assigned to the Constitutional Bench was objectionable.
Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana had asked not to raise such issue in the course of hearing when Shrestha from Dahal-Nepal faction of the NCP raised the issue in the course of the hearing.
A section of online media earlier on Friday had reported that Prime Minister Oli had held secret meetings with justices Sapana Pradhan Malla, Dipak Karki, Mira Khadka, and Hari Krishna Karki on January 10 and 11. Justice Karki has already recused himself from the Constitutional Bench as he had served as the Attorney General during the PM Oli-led government.
Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Oli also criticized the media that ran reports about the alleged meeting even after the apex court in a statement refuted the meeting.