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 Courtâ€™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 Councilâ€™s meetings. â€œThe majority of the Council members cannot hold the meeting without being presided over by its chairman who happens to be the Prime Minister,â€ 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 Councilâ€™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 Ministerâ€™s presence.
Aryal, one of the drafters of the Constitution, ruled out the possibility of holding the Councilâ€™s meeting by other members when the Prime Ministerâ€™s post is vacant. â€œTill date, nobody, except the Prime Minister, has chaired the Councilâ€™s meetings,â€ 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 Councilâ€™s meetings. Rayamajhi also said that constitutional provisions cannot be ignored just by citing different situations in the past.
â€œHad there been any possibility of substituting the Prime Ministerâ€™s post, then why did the Constitution make a provision for the Prime Ministerâ€™s presence,â€ questioned Rayamajhi. The NBA president, Shambhu Thapa, claimed that it is a bad idea to even think of holding the Councilâ€™s meetings without the Prime Minister. â€œIt is an undemocratic interpretation of the Constitution,â€ he added. Thapa further said that the Constitution can never imagine the absence of the Prime Minister in the Councilâ€™s meetings. â€œThe Council must be headed by the Prime Minister and no one else,â€ he added.