Constitution can not satisfy all: CJ

Kathmandu, January 8

Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha today said too much politics over the constitution was unnecessary.

Launching two books ‘Sambidhanbad’ (constitutionalism) and ‘Sambidhanka bibadit antarbastu’ (contentious contents of the constitution)’ written by Constitutional Lawyers Forum, Shrestha said it would be impossible to bring a new constitution that could satisfy all.

Shrestha said the new constitution fulfilled the long cherished goals of the people who wanted to write their constitution and the gaps could be bridged through amendments.

He said there were many provisions in the constitution from the beginning on which people can have differing views but it would be unwise to continue feuding over those provisions. He said the new constitution had followed the legitimate process and he had no right to oppose the constitution.

The Chief Justice said the two books would be useful as reference materials for those who wanted to learn about the constitution and constitution-making process.

Attorney General Hari Krishna Karki said the new constitution would win support of all when the Constitution Amendment Bill would be passed in the Parliament.

Spokesperson for Indigenous Nationalities National Movement Om Gurung said the newly launched books failed to comment on the issues of language and secularism. He said the new constitution had imposed Nepali language on provinces, which could become a cause for languages of minorities to become extinct.

Gurung said constitutional experts who have commented on the provisions of the constitution had not written anything on the secularism provision. “The proviso of the secularism clause says that the sanatan (eternal) religion will be protected. How can that be possible in a secular state?” he wondered.

Vice Chair of Nepal Bar Association Tikaram Bhattarai said the new constitution was a progressive document compared to past constitutions but not the best document as claimed by some constitutional experts and politicians.

Senior Advocate Purna Man Shakya said judiciary should bridge the gap in the constitution as the American judiciary did in its constitution, which left a gap by not abolishing slavery.

Former Chair of Nepal Sadbhawana Party Sarita Giri said the new constitution was a regressive document for it curtailed people’s rights already ensured under the Interim Constitution.

Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said the two books were important as they would provide a record of constitutional debate in the absence of Constituent Assembly’s own record of the constitution-making process.

Chair of CLAF Chandra Kant Gyawali said his organisations held separate workshops to discuss clause wise discussion on the draft constitution and had submitted the comments to the Constituent Assembly. He said the book would be useful for politicians and jurists as they dealt with vital issues of the constitution.