Supreme Court issues mandamus order for Constitutional Bench

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a mandamus order in the name of the Judicial Council directing it to form the Constitutional Bench at the apex court to deal with issues of constitutional debates.

The five-member full bench comprising justices Jagadish Sharma Paudel, Kedar Prasad Chalise, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada, Anil Kumar Sinha and Sapana Pradhan Malla directed the JC and its Chairperson, Chief Justice Sushila Karki to form the bench pronto.

Advocate Madhav Kumar Basnet had filed a writ demanding the same in January.

Article 137 of the 2015 Constitution says:

(1) There shall be a Constitutional Bench in the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Bench shall consist of the Chief Justice and other four Judges designated by the Chief Justice on recommendation of the Judicial Council.

(2) The Bench under clause (1) shall originally try and settle the following cases, in addition to the petitions filed in accordance with clause (1) of Article 133:

(a) Disputes relating to jurisdiction between the Federation and a State, between States, between a State and a Local level and between Local levels,

(b) Disputes relating to election to members of the Federal Parliament or State Assembly and matters relating to disqualification of a member of the Federal Parliament or of the State Assembly

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 133, if it appears that any case sub judice in the Supreme Court involves a question of serious constitutional interpretation, the Chief Justice may appoint such case to be tried by the Bench under clause (1)

(4) Other provisions relating to the functioning of the Constitutional Bench shall be as determined by the Supreme Court.