HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU:To clear the confusion regarding the Supreme Court order, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today invited a dozen prominent lawyers to advise on what exactly the apex court wanted with regard to the budget the government would be bringing through ordinance.
Apparently, he wanted to know whether the SC order intended to allow a full-fledged or a downsized budget.
“The apex court has said the government should go for Article 96 A(1) and (2) of the Interim Constitution as there is no way in which the government can bring a regular budget in the absence of parliament. It is clear that the government does not have the right to bring a full-fledged budget,” Prem Bahadur Khadka, President, Nepal Bar Association told reporters after the meeting.
Advocates Ram Narayan Bidari, Surendra Mahato, Borna Bahadur Karki, Laxman Lal Karna, Yuba Raj Sangroula, Sapana Pradhan Malla had been invited.
Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan, Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Law Secretary Bhesh Raj Sharma also attended in the meeting.
Stating that the government could not hold elections without amending the Interim Constitution and election laws and as the parliament did not exist to pass the amendments, the NBA President suggested that the government should not allocate budget for election and it should not seek other alternatives except those provided by the constitution and apex court.
“The government must follow the court order,” Khadka said. “It cannot overstep the SC order because it has clearly said that there is no possibility of issuing a full-fledged budget by invoking Article 88 of the Interim Constitution without first attaining political consensus with other parties.
Former lawmaker and advocate Sapana Pradhan Malla echoed Khadka. “The government does not have any alternative but to go for one-third budget as per the Constitution and the way suggested by the apex court.
Former attorney general Sangroula advised the government not to impose new taxes and bring new programmes.
Arguing that the apex court did not issue stay order barring the government from bringing a full-fledged budget, advocate Ram Narayan Bidari said the government need not be confused about bringing a full-fledged budget. “He also termed the apex court ruling not an order and therefore not binding,” another participant said. “Since it was not a decision, the government should not abide by it,” the participant quoted Bidari as saying.
Vice President of NBA, Surendra Mahato and advocate Borna Bahadur Karki echoed Bidari. They suggested that since the apex court did not clearly direct the government to do or not to do anything, the government can exercise its regular power to bring the budget. Former Lawmaker and lawyer Karna also said since the court did not issue an interim order it was the right of the government to invoke Article 88 of the ordinance.
Thapa refuses to attend
KATHMANDU: Former President of Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa refused to attend the meeting despite the Prime Minister’s invitation. Citing the reservation that the government did not consult lawyers before dissolving the CA and declaring new election, Thapa refused to attend. “Opposing the tendency of the government to consult lawyers after derailing the regular course, he did not attend,” Thapa’s closed aide said.