KATHMANDU, May 20: The Supreme Court has said that it is unconstitutional to give continuity to seven former Maoist Center leaders as ministers even after they lost their position as lawmakers.
A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana on Thursday termed the move of Prime Minister K P Oli to give continuity to seven former Maoist Center leaders as ministers after he took a fresh oath of office and secrecy in his capacity as leader of the largest political party in parliament 'unconstitutional'. Chief Justice Rana maintained that their reappointment as ministers is not constitutional as Article 78 of the constitution clearly states that a person who is not a member of federal parliament can be minister for only six months.
With the latest verdict of the apex court, the ministerial positions of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Industry Lekharaj Bhatta, Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Minister for Urban Development Prabhu Shah, Minister for Drinking Water Mani Thapa, Minister for Labor Gauri Shankar Chaudhary and Minister for Sports Dawa Lama have automatically fallen vacant. They can assume ministerial positions again only after their election as a member of the House of Representatives or the National Assembly of the federal parliament.
Chief Justice Rana passed the order in response to a writ petition filed by advocates duo Kapil Dev Dhakal and Biraj Thapa. They had maintained that all the former Maoist leaders who lost their position as lawmakers should be automatically relieved from the post of ministers and that Prime Minister Oli had taken an 'unconstitutional' move to give their continuity as ministers in his cabinet.