Writ petition filed against govt decision to increase local units

Published On: March 6, 2017 09:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 6: A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court (SC) against the government's decision to increase the number of local units.

The move comes a day after a cabinet meeting on Sunday decided to add 25 more local units to the total 719 units proposed by the local level restructuring commission (LLRC). 

In the writ petition filed on Monday, petitioner Chiranjibi Rijal has demanded that the decision of the government to increase the number of local units from 719 to 744 be scrapped.

Arguing that the decision breaches the constitutional jurisdiction, Rijal has demanded that the number and boundaries of local units be kept intact as suggested by the LLRC led by Balananda Paudel.

While making the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers as its defendant, the writ petitioner has sought an interim order against the government decision. The writ maintains that the decision taken in an arbitrary manner breaches the constitutional provision of Article 295(3) that provides sole authority to determine the number and boundaries of village and municipal councils to the LLRC.

The government has added 21 more local units --one each in Sarlahi, Mahottari and Rautahat, two each in Parsa and Bara, four in Dhanusha, and five each in Saptari and Siraha -- in various Tarai-Madhes districts. The cabinet decision on Sunday also increased two local units in Kathmandu and one each in Bajhang and in Manang districts.

The LLRC on January 6 had submitted its report to the government, proposing a total of 719 local units under the new federal setup. As the agitating Madhes-based political parties expressed their dissatisfaction over the number of local units in Tarai-Madhes districts, the government later formed a taskforce headed by Minister for Local Development Hitraj Pandey to review the number and boundaries of the local units.

The government had decided to increase the number as per the proposal made by the taskforce, apparently to appease the Madhesh-based parties for the election.

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