Kathmandu, May 6
Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar will take a call on the impeachment motion filed against Chief Justice Sushila Karki tomorrow.
Sources said the Speaker was consulting political leaders, legal experts and officials of the Parliament Secretariat on the issue. She will hold meetings with political leaders and chief whips of parties tomorrow before taking a call, said Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Bharat Raj Gautam. He said when a meeting of the Parliament cannot take place due to obstruction, the same business schedule is listed for the next meeting of the House. The impeachment motion and some bills were in the business schedule yesterday. “Now we have a new situation, so the Speaker will take a call on the business schedule tomorrow,” Gautam said referring to yesterday’s stay order issued by the Supreme Court against the impeachment motion.
The Speaker’s Press Adviser Babin Sharma said she was still consulting leaders and experts on how to deal with the impeachment motion after the SC’s stay order. CJ Karki resumed office yesterday after the apex court issued the stay order.
CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said House proceedings would move ahead only if the parties forged consensus. When asked if his party was in favour of taking further action on the impeachment motion, Bidari said, “This is not a motion brought by the government. This motion was brought by lawmakers who represent ruling parties.”
The Speaker now has four options after the SC stay order
Another CPN-MC leader Mani Thapa said the SC’s stay order was an attack on the supremacy of the Parliament and his party was neither in favour of withdrawing the impeachment motion nor was it for filing another impeachment motion against Justice Cholendra Shamsher JB Rana. Justice Rana had issued the stay order.
“We want to wait and see how CJ Karki functions in the days ahead. We want to see if she nurses any grudge against us and becomes vindictive,” he said.
Nepali Congress Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha said he was in favour of moving ahead with the impeachment motion filed against Chief Justice Karki.
Shrestha said impeaching a constitutional post holder was the House’s prerogative and hence the stay order issued by the Supreme Court yesterday was an obstacle to the House’s prerogative. “Lawmakers are representatives of the people and the prerogatives of the House cannot be constrained by a court order,” Shrestha said, adding that a wider debate was necessary as a new situation had emerged after the SC issued the stay order.
A source said there were a few options before the Speaker: to abide by the SC’s order; file a petition at the SC seeking vacation of yesterday’s stay order; initiate action of contempt of Parliament as provisioned under Article 103 of the constitution; or postpone the meetings of the Parliament till the first phase of local polls to see how the SC acts.
A version of this article appears in print on May 07, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.