Attorney General Ramesh Badal pleaded before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli recommended the dissolution of the House of Representatives as a new prime minister could not be appointed under Article 76 (5) of the constitution.

Rebutting arguments made by the petitioners who have challenged the House dissolution case, Badal said the petitioners' case was not valid in the eyes of the law, as signatures of only five leaders of the opposition alliance were admissible in the court of law. He said separately attached sheets of signatures could not be deemed valid for filing a case.

As many as 146 members of the dissolved HoR, including Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba who had submitted signatures of 149 lawmakers to the president staking claim for prime ministership, have challenged the HoR dissolution case in the apex court.

The attorney general also said that a candidate seeking to be appointed the new PM under Article 76 (5) was required to show the support of political parties, as that was the true spirit of the law and the constitution in a multi-party system. He said the only difference between Article 76 (5) and 76 (2) was that Article 76 (5) allowed even independent lawmakers to become the PM with the support of political parties.

Badal argued that a lawmaker who contested an election on a political party's ticket was not supposed to act independently.

"In case s/he wants to do so, s/ he must abandon the mother party or form a separate political party," Badal said.

During his three hours long oral submission, the AG said one political party could not be the ruling and the opposition party at the same time. This argument was recently raised by Oli in reference to UML lawmakers' support to NC President Deuba before the House was dissolved.

Badal claimed that the HoR dissolution case was sent to the bench without following the due process.

Other government lawyers, who have four more hours to make their oral submission, will plead before the bench tomorrow.

Private lawyers of defendants will have seven hours to make their oral submission.

Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota's lawyer is expected to get two hours to plead before the bench.

Four amici curiae will get two hours to plead before the bench.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 29 2021, of The Himalayan Times.