'Oath in Nepali to risk VP's life'

KATHMANDU: Defending Vice President Paramananda Jha in the Supreme Court, lawyers today expressed their concerns over Jha's “personal security” in the Tarai if he took oath in Nepali.

"He cannot even save his life in the Tarai if he takes oath in Nepali," said advocate Suresh Kumar Karki. "Will the apex court provide him security?" he questioned. He also termed the apex court verdict on July 24 as a mistake and urged to rectify the same.

A five-member special bench comprising Justices -- Top Bahadur Magar, Ram Kumar Prasad Shaha, Kalyan Shrestha, Prem Sharma and Bharat Raj Upreti -- has begun the hearing on whether or not to issue interim order directing Jha not to hold the post without taking a fresh oath. "Since the apex court itself did not direct the vice president to take fresh oath in Nepali, he is not bound to do the same," Karki maintained. He also added that the apex court ruling could create the downfall of the government and to disintegrate the country as well.

Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Singh stated that since Jha's oath in Hindi had been scrapped and the oath paper he signed in Nepali was still existing, he (VP) did not need to take a fresh oath in Nepali. Singh also added that the quo warranto order as demanded by the writ petitioner was not appropriate to direct Jha whether or not to assume the office.

Advocate Sitaram Agrawal argued that the copies of the writ petition which were given to the vice president did not demand the interim order. The Supreme Court today began hearing whether or not to issue interim order against Jha regarding the assumption of the post without taking fresh oath.

Pleading on behalf of petitioners -- Nawaraj Neupane and Bishnu Banstola, advocate Kumar Regmi called for the apex court intervention as the vice president defied the court order.

"He cannot even hold the post for a minute violating the apex court directives," Regmi added. He also argued that though he was being elected for the post, he could no longer remain in the position without taking a fresh oath in Nepali as the apex court already scrapped his oath taken in Hindi.

Advocate Punya Prasad Aryal also sought the apex court order to the government authorities to stop Jha from going to office and take facilities, as his attendance in office was unconstitutional.

Deputy Attorney General, Kumar Chundal, however defended the government and the vice president stating that since the issue was still under consideration of the government and the President the intervention of the apex court was not required.

He also claimed that Jha had not been taking any decision or working therefore the apex court interim order was not needed. The hearing will continue tomorrow.