Supreme Court stays Nepal Olympic Committee election

Published On: September 4, 2019 08:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 4: The Supreme Court (SC) issuing an interim order on Tuesday asked the Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) not to conduct its election scheduled for Friday.

Responding to a writ petition filed by Kamal Bahadur Chitrakar, a member of the Olympic committee led by Rukma Shamsher, a single bench of Justice Tanka Bahadur Moktan issued the interim order.
Chitrakar had moved the apex court last Sunday challenging the authority of the committee led by incumbent President Jeevanram Shrestha claiming that the Shrestha-led committee itself is illegal. 
The SC has summoned the Shrestha-led committee before the court with a clarification within 15 days and ordered not to conduct election until the next verdict.

With the court’s stay order the election of the internationally-recognized Olympic committee has now become uncertain. The Olympic committee which has been weakened by the existence of two parallel committees for the last one decade is likely to face further complications following the court order.

The SC also has set September 8 as the date for hearing and has asked both the defendants and plaintiff to present before the court for further discussion.

“After looking into the seriousness of the writ petition, it seems appropriate to hold discussion between both the parties before reaching a conclusion. Thus, the court sets September 8 as the date of hearing,” the order states.

In the writ, Chitrakar has named Shrestha-led Olympic Committee, Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Council (NSC), District Administration Office Lalitpur and District Administration Office Kathmandu as defendants.

In his writ registered at the SC in 2008, Chitrakar claimed the Rana-led committee as the legal one.
In 2010, October 4, the SC had given the verdict in favor of Rana-led committee. Although the then President Dhurba Bahadur Pradhan and then General Secretary Shrestha had filed a petition requesting to reconsider the verdict, the SC had quashed the petition on April 29, 2011.

However, the legitimacy of the Rana-led committee was not implemented. The committee then frequently wrote to the Home Ministry requesting to implement the SC decision. 

Later, even though the Shrestha-led committee had filed a petition again on October 2, 2018 demanding not to implement the decision, the SC had declared the Shrestha-led committee illegal.
The NOC had amended its statute last month planning to nominate Rana as honorary President of the committee in a bid to settle the long-running dispute.

Incumbent President Shrestha, who is also Member of Parliament, is running for the presidency again for the second term while former vice chair Umesh Lal Shrestha is in the race against him. Shrestha had defeated the same opponent in the last election by eight votes. Shrestha had obtained 17 votes.

Ratan Kumar Tandon was certain to be re-elected as the treasurer and NSC Vice-president Pitambar Timalsina was certain to be elected as deputy general secretary unopposed as no one filed candidacy against them. The deadline for withdrawing candidacy was until Thursday. 
Of the total 27 eligible voters, 26 have registered their candidacy for various positions. 

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