Nepal | January 18, 2021

Supreme Court tells government not to induct Gautam in Cabinet

He will not be able to act as a member of the National Assembly until September 30

Himalayan News Service
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The Supreme Court today ordered the government not to induct Bamdev Gautam in the Cabinet or assign him any such post till the apex court issued another order in the case. Gautam was recently nominated to the National Assembly by the president on the government’s recommendation.

SC Registrar Bhadrakali Pokharel said Gautam would not be able to act as a member of the National Assembly until September 30 when the court would decide whether or not it should issue an interim order on a petition challenging Gautam’s appointment to the NA.One of the petitioners told THT that the apex court raised moral question against Gautam’s nomination, making it difficult for Gautam to shoulder responsibility as a member of the Upper House.

The order was passed by a single bench of Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai in response to a writ petition filed by Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi, challenging the government’s decision to nominate Gautam to the Upper House.

The court also referred the case to the constitutional bench and issued a show cause notice to the government. The court observed that Tripathi and another petitioner, Badri Raj Bhatta, who had also challenged the government’s decision to nominate Gautam to the NA, had wondered whether or not the government had sincerely obeyed articles of the constitution, including Articles 2, 74, 78 (4), 1 (2), 3, 51 (1) 61 (4) and 66, while nominating Gautam to the NA.

The apex court observed that it needed to hear arguments of defendant Gautam before taking a decision on whether or not an interim order should be issued against the nomination of Gautam to the NA.

Tripathi had sought an interim order against Gautam, urging the court to bar him from acting as NA member and becoming a minister.

The bench referred the case to the constitutional bench saying there were constitutional questions to be settled in the case.

The bench observed that since such a case was filed at the apex court for the first time, a decision should be taken on the basis of constitutionalism, question of accountability to the sovereign people, democratic methods, constitutional policies and the principle of constitutional morality so that the court could set a permanent constitutional value regarding all those issues.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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