Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 20:

Former justices of the Supreme Court and the president of Nepal Bar Association today slammed Attorney General, Pawan Kumar Ojha, for wrongly interpreting the 1990 Constitution. The Supreme Court’s ex-justice, Laxman Prasad Aryal, said that there is no way but to appoint the Prime Minister or to amend the 1990 Constitution for holding the Constitutional Council’s meetings. “The majority of the Council members cannot hold the meeting without being presided over by its chairman who happens to be the Prime Minister,” Aryal told this daily today. According to him, there is no way but to amend the Constitution if the government wants to assign anyone else to preside over the Council’s meetings. Ojha yesterday claimed that the majority of the Council members can hold the meeting to select the next Chief Justice even without the Prime Minister’s presence.

Aryal, one of the drafters of the Constitution, ruled out the possibility of holding the Council’s meeting by other members when the Prime Minister’s post is vacant. “Till date, nobody, except the Prime Minister, has chaired the Council’s meetings,” said Aryal. Krishna Jung Rayamajhi, former Justice of the Supreme Court, said that the 1990 Constitution is based on the prime ministerial system of governance and only the PM has the right to preside over the Council’s meetings. Rayamajhi also said that constitutional provisions cannot be ignored just by citing different situations in the past.

“Had there been any possibility of substituting the Prime Minister’s post, then why did the Constitution make a provision for the Prime Minister’s presence,” questioned Rayamajhi. The NBA president, Shambhu Thapa, claimed that it is a bad idea to even think of holding the Council’s meetings without the Prime Minister. “It is an undemocratic interpretation of the Constitution,” he added. Thapa further said that the Constitution can never imagine the absence of the Prime Minister in the Council’s meetings. “The Council must be headed by the Prime Minister and no one else,” he added.