All the 30 writ petitions challenging the dissolution of the House of Representatives will be heard by the five-member constitutional bench from tomorrow as single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana sent 19 writ petitions to the constitutional bench today. The Supreme Court had earlier sent 11 petitions to the constitutional bench.

CJ Rana referred the cases to the constitutional bench, saying that since the issues raised by the petitioners involved interpretation of serious constitutional issues they should be heard by the constitutional bench where other such cases have been listed for hearing, including the one filed by 146 lawmakers of the dissolved HoR demanding appointment of NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba as PM.

One of the petitioners, Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi, argued before the bench of CJ Rana that the court should summon Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli within 24 hours and ask him why he defied the SC's February 23 ruling made in response to the petitions filed against the dissolution of the HoR on December 20. In the earlier case, the SC had ruled that the HoR could not be dissolved as long as it was able to give a new government.

Tripathi said the PM, who had requested the president to initiate the process of forming the new government under Article 76 (5) saying the House did not have confidence in him, could not claim to form the government under Article 76 (5). He sought an interim order to the government barring it from bringing the new fiscal budget through an ordinance.

Citing the legal maxim 'No taxation without representation', Tripathi said the constitution had not envisaged a new budget through ordinance. He also urged the court to stay the election process, pointing out that the government unnecessarily spent almost Rs 600 million after December 20 in the course of preparation for mid-term elections, as the court had not issued a stay order.

The constitutional bench had conducted continuous hearing last time when it heard the HoR dissolution case in January-February.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.