SC tells veep to take fresh oath

KATHMANDU: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court today rendered one-year-old oath taken by Vice President Paramananda Jha in Hindi redundant and urged him to take fresh oath in Nepali.

The apex court verdict came 366 days after he assumed the post. Nullifying his oath taken on 23 July 2008 before holding the prestigious post, the apex court told him to take fresh oath in Nepali Devnagari script as prescribed by the Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Justice Bala Ram KC issued the verdict stating that even after being elected one is free to reject the post but if he wants to hold the same he or she must take the oath of office and secrecy in a format determined by the constitution.

Though the bench did not issue a mandamus order directing him to take fresh oath in Nepali, it advised him to rectify his mistake.

The apex court hoped that the Vice President would be ready to correct his mistake and keep the issue above controversy.

The bench stated that the Vice President should take fresh oath in Nepali as per Schedule-1(A) of Article 36 (I) 2 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007. The bench cited US President Barrack Obama’s action of taking the oath of office and secrecy second time on January 22 to correct the mistake he made while taking oath on January 20. The bench added by taking fresh oath, the mistake made in the past could be rectified.

The apex court also added that any person elected, nominated or appointed to any post should take the oath as prescribed by the constitution. In case one does not want to take the oath in such format, he or she is free to quit the post, the bench added. Seeking an apex court order to administer fresh oath to the vice-president, a writ petition was filed by advocate Bal Krishna Neupane on 24 July 2008.

While issuing a show cause notices to the government and the Vice President on July 28, the Supreme Court had barred the Vice President Jha to perform his duties as veep.

The bench also stated that there was no need to examine the decisions taken by Jha, since he did not take any decision, as he works only in the absence of the President and the President was never absent from duty.

Jha furious

KATHMANDU: Vice President Jha has challenged the verdict. “This is a full of bias. Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi is against me, therefore, he heard my case and did not assign it to other justices,” Jha told The Himalayan Times. “The CJ did not even hear my legal counsel’s argument ,” Jha alleged.

Jha added that he did not know Nepali language and was not ready to take the oath as per the order of the apex court. “However, I will take the oath in Nepali if the political parties and the people whom I represent advise me to do so,” he added. The Vice President said the apex court misinterpreted the constitution, as it does not say that the President and the Vice President should know Nepali language. — HNS