Brigadiers may knock SC doors

Kathmandu, March 18:

The brigadier generals of the Nepali Army have been consulting lawyers whether or not to move the apex court against the government’s decision not to extend their tenure.

The generals have been holding discussion with a few lawyers — including Bhimarjun Acharya and Tika Ram Bhattarai — who had also defended the Nepali Army in the apex court in a case related to the row over the recruitment in the national army.

“Yes they have been consulting us. But they are yet to a take final decision whether or not to move the apex court,” a lawyer told this daily on condition of anonymity. “They are in wait-and-see mood and they may decide to knock the SC doors if the government did not rectify its decision,” he added.

Former attorney generals Badri Bahadur Karki and Sushil Panta, former NBA presidents Shambhu Thapa and Harihar Dahal and advocates Bhattarai, Acharya, Madhav Basnet, Kumar Regmi and Narendra Pathak had defended the army in the recruitment case.

“The law is clear that the minister should uphold the recommendation of the Chief of Army Staff to extend the term of the brigadier generals. There is also a SC precedent in which the court had extended the tenure of Pradip Pratap Bam Malla against the government decision to give him retirement. In this backdrop, they are planning to move the apex court if the government did not correct its decision,” the lawyer said.

The government had refused to uphold the recommendation of CoAS to extend the brigadier generals’ tenure by three years.

Meanwhile, senior leaders of different political parties today said the government should immediately reinstate the brigadier generals who were forced to retire.

Speaking at an interaction organised in Bhaktapur, UML leader KP Oli said the Maoists cannot impose monopoly and execute such controversial decision without discussing with other parties just because the defence minister is a Maoist. He warned that the issue could have a negative impact on the future of the government itself.

RPP chairman Pashupati Shamser JB Rana said that the retirement of eight senior officers had created a vacuum in the national army. NC spokesperson Arjun Narshingh KC said the Maoists were trying to discourage the army officers. He said, “Maoists are trying to break the established rules and establish a fascist rule in the country.”

Narayan Man Bijukchhe, president of Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party, said the Maoist should listen to other parties on PLA’s management as the PLA soldiers were also getting salaries from the tax collected from the people.

Maoist leader Lila Mani Pokharel denied the allegations and reiterated that the decision not to extend the tenure of the brigadier generals was right.