Legal experts term CA tenure extension unconstitutional

KATHMANDU: The extension of the Constituent Assembly’s (CA) tenure will be unconstitutional if the sovereign body elected for two years to write a new Constitution cannot complete its work, law experts said today.

“The CA was elected for two years and, therefore, it must complete its work within that period,” constitutional law expert Purna Man Shakya told The Himalayan Times today. “The extension of the term will be a breach of trust, while it will expose the political morality,” Shakya added.

The CA has only 95 days left to draft the law of the land by the stipulated time frame.

Article 64 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007, clearly provides for a two-year term for the CA to promulgate the constitution. The Article reads: “Except otherwise dissolved earlier by a resolution passed by the CA, the term of the CA shall be two years from the date of its first meeting. Provided that the term of the CA may be extended having passed a resolution by the Constituent Assembly, up to an additional period of six months in case the task of drafting the Constitution is not completed due to the proclamation of a state of emergency in the country.”

Newly-elected president of Nepal Bar Association Prem Bahadur Khadka

said any kind of such an

extension will be

“unconstitutional” and “unacceptable.”

Article 82 of the Interim Constitution says that the CA will be “dissolved on the day of the commencement of the constitution promulgated by the CA; the task given to the CA shall (thereby) come to an end.”

Until the election to the Legislature-Parliament

is held in accordance

with the constitution promulgated by the CA, the proceedings of the Legislature-Parliament shall be conducted as specified in the constitution promulgated by the CA.

Shakya said that the Interim Constitution prohibits the tenure extension. “If they are not honest, the public may punish them .

The extension of the CA’s tenure by proclaiming a state of emergency as per Article 64 is unimaginable as the constitution cannot be promulgated by infringing upon the right to self-expression of the general public,” Shakya reasoned.