Row over oath taking in Hindi

SC can’t intervene: Veep

Kathmandu, September 1:

Submitting a reply to the Supreme Court in a case over taking oath in Hindi, Vice President Paramananda Jha today said the apex court cannot nullify his oath as it was related to the President’s job and the SC cannot intervene in the job of the President.

Responding to a show cause notice issued by the court, Jha, who is also the former ad hoc judge of the apex court, submitted the written reply today.

Acting on a writ petition filed by advocate Bal Krishna Neupane against Jha for taking oath in Hindi, a single bench of Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma had issued the notice to Jha on July 28 to furnish a reply within seven days. However, Jha did not attend the court within the original deadline, citing reasons beyond his control.

“The oath-taking is related to the job of the President and the apex court cannot intervene in the job of the head of the state who is also the protector of the constitution,” he claimed. “Based on this principle”, he said the court did not issue a notice to the President and as the Vice President works as the head of the state in the absence the President, the court cannot issue notice to him as well.

The Vice President also claimed that there was no compulsion for a Vice President to know the national language and even if he knew Nepali language he had the right to work in any other language recognised by the state.

Jha claimed that he took oath in Hindi as it was easy for him to communicate in Hindi with the people whom he represented. He, however, claimed that he had equal faith on other languages, too.

He claimed that Hindi was a language recognised by the state. “Hindi is not a foreign

language,” he claimed. Jha said he had signed both Nepali and Hindi copies of the oath and the apex court cannot scrap his oath.

The Vice President also claimed that taking oath for a by any politician was a political issue and there was no need for the SC to examine his oath-taking. He accused the petitioner of filing the case to defame him and called the apex court not to take the case seriously. “This would test the apex court’s wisdom and patience,” he said.