KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 19
Senior Advocate Geeta Pathak Sangroula, who appeared before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court as an amicus curiae, argued that the prime minister did not have prerogative to dissolve the HoR. She said the PM did not fulfil the preconditions stated in Article 76 (7) before dissolving the HoR.
Article 76 (7) stipulates: In cases where the prime minister appointed under clause (5) fails to obtain a vote of confidence or the prime minister cannot be appointed, the president shall on recommendation of the prime minister, dissolve the House of Representatives and fix a date of election so that the election to another House of Representatives is completed within six months.
Senior Advocate Sangroula argued that the prime minister's lawyers' argument that the PM used residuary power to dissolved the HoR was wrong because the residuary power was about the division of powers between the three tiers of the government.
With the conclusion of lawyers' oral submission today, the bench asked the lawyers representing the petitioners, defendants and amici curiae to submit their written submission by February 22. The bench also listed the case for continuous hearing on February 23.
Five amici curiae - senior advocates Purna Man Shakya, Satish Krishna Kharel, Geeta Sangroula Pathak, Badri Bahadur Karki and Bijaya Kanta Mainali had pleaded in the case. All amici curiae except Mainali pleaded before the bench that the PM acted beyond the scope of the constitution to dissolve the Lower House of Parliament.
As the lawyers have concluded their pleading, the justices will discuss and consult among themselves and draft the verdict before listing the case for final verdict. The five-member constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana has justices Sapana Pradhan Malla, Anil Kumar Sinha, Tej Bahadur KC and Bishowambar Shrestha as its members.
A version of this article appears in the print on February 20, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.