KATHMANDU, JANUARY 19 Lawyers representing the petitioners who have challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives argued before the constitutional bench today that the constitution did not give the PM the prerogative to dissolve the HoR. Advocate Rudra Prasad Sharma said out of four cases of House dissolution under the 1990 constitution, the SC heard three cases. On the fourth occasion, the SC did not hear the case, but the House was restored as a result of people’s movement in 2006. He was referring to the fourth case of dissolution of the HoR in 2002 by former king Gyanendra on recommendation of Sher Bahadur Deuba, the then prime minister. Sharma said although the PM invoked Article 76 (7) to dissolve the House, he could have done so only when the House was in session and there was no possibility of the formation of a new government. Article 76 (7) placed a constitutional obligation on the PM to recommend dissolution of the HoR when there is no possibility of forming the government, he argued. Senior Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s claim that the dissolution of the HoR was a political issue was wrong. He said all issues that were mentioned in the articles of the constitution, including the HoR dissolution, were constitutional and not political issues. He said under the new federal constitution the Parliament was stronger than the PM. Advocate Sher Bahadur Dhungana said Article 54 (3) of the constitution of 1990 had given the PM the prerogative to dissolve the HoR, but the current constitution did not give the same prerogative to the PM. He said the book ‘Sambidhan Sabha Darpan, 2065-2069’ that contained major points of constitutional debates in the thematic committee that the Parliament Secretariat had published stated that the framers of the constitution had agreed not to give the executive head the power to dissolve the HoR. A five-member constitutional bench of the SC led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana is hearing 13 petitions filed against the dissolution of the Lower House. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had on the recommendation of Oli dissolved the HoR on December 20. CJ Rana asked the petitioners’ lawyers whether or not the PM, who commanded clear majority in the House, could dissolve the HoR to seek a fresh mandate. Advocates Shiva Kumar Yadav and Harka Bahadur Rawal also pleaded on behalf of writ petitioners.
‘Constitution gives prime minister no right to dissolve HoR’
Published: 07:28 am Jan 20, 2021