SC refuses to issue interim order against poll panel

Kathmandu, November 6

The Supreme Court today refused to issue an interim order in response to a writ petition demanding voting rights for government employees who will be deployed during the first and the second phases of provincial and parliamentary polls.

A division bench of justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Dambar Bahadur Shahi passed an order today stating that there was no need to issue an interim order, as the Election Commission would certainly consider a way out to ensure that voting rights of the government employees  as guaranteed in Article 84 (5) of the constitution were not violated.

Article 84 (5)  states that each citizen of Nepal who has completed the age of 18 years shall have the right to vote in an election constituency as provided for in the federal law.

Bharat Kumar Mainali, a non gazetted first class employee of the Office of the Attorney General, had filed the case against the government and the Election Commission demanding that government employees who would be deployed during polls should have the right to vote as was the case in the two Constituent Assembly elections held in 2008 and 2013.

In the two previous elections, government employees and security personnel had cast their votes under the PR system.

Almost half a million government employees, including security personnel, will be deployed during the polls.

Petitioner’s lawyer Baburam Kunwar said the SC did not issue an interim order and left the matter at the EC’s discretion.