The Supreme Court refused to issue stay order in the case filed by CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and three other leaders of his faction of the UML.

Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Ghanashyam Bhusal and Surendra Prasad Pandey had challenged party Chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's punitive actions against their factional activities.

Nepal, Rawal, Bhusal, and Pandey, who face the risk of being removed from the House of Representatives for their alleged anti-party activities, had filed a writ petition at the apex court seeking annulment of punitive action taken against initiated by Oli.

The petitioners had urged the court to prevent Oli from taking any action against them as per the Political Party Act, including his decision to remove them from the party as that could consequently lead to their removal from the House of Representatives.

A single bench of Justice Prakash Kumar Dhungana issued a show cause notice to PM Oli and other defendants, but refused to issue an interim order saying that just because these leaders were asked by the party chair to furnish explanation, that did not present a basis for the court to issue an interim order.

The court said that issues such as whether the explanation letter issued by the party chair was in conformity with the rules, and whether the party chair could take action against them should be settled in the final hearing as per Section 28 and 32 of the Political Party Act and overall principles of political parties.

SC's refusal to issue interim order in the case means party Chair and PM Oli has no hurdle, at least for now, in taking further punitive actions against the rival faction.

The court has listed the case for priority hearing saying there is urgency to settle the case soon.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.