BIRATNAGAR: Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar on Friday said that no one could hinder the Constituent Assembly’s process to draft the new constitution, not even the Supreme Court, hinting at a recent SC order staying the 16-point agreement. Speaking to mediapersons at Biratnagar airport on Friday, Gachhadar said the CA was an autonomous sovereign body and that the apex court could not stop it from promulgating the constitution. Four parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist and MJF-D — on June had signed the 16-point agreement to pave the way for the constitution drafting. But the Supreme Court on June 19 had issued an interim order against the deal, saying some of the points were not in line with the Interim Constitution of Nepal.

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“CA is a body which comprises all people’s representatives. Hence, no other body can interfere in its task. Nor can any other body direct it to draft ‘a particular kind of constitution,” said Gachhadar, referring to the Supreme Court order. “The new constitution will be framed based on the 16-point agreement,” he added. While the signatories of the 16-point agreement, Gacchadar’s MJF-D is one of them, have claimed that the deal would only work as the guideline for the drafting of the constitution, those who oppose it, including Gacchadar’s former partners in the United Democratic Madhesi Front, have been claiming that the four parties’ deal ‘is against the spirit of the Interim Constitution’ as some of the points are in violation of some Articles, including Article 138. After the signing of the 16-point agreement, the United Democratic Madhesi Front had ousted Gacchadar’s Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic ‘for betraying the cause of Madhes and Madhesi people’. “As the Constitution Drafting Committee has expedited its task, the draft constitution will be out for public in two-three days for discussion,” said Gachhadar, urging all to be confident about the promulgation of the new constitution, which ‘will incorporate the spirit of the Interim Constitution, 16-point agreement and identity-based issues as per the aspirations of indigenous nationalities and Tharus,” he added. Despite SC order, the CA and its committees have continued to work on the new constitution, saying SC order doesn’t bar them from continuing the statute process.