Constitutional Council Act amended

Kathmandu, April 20

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, today issued an ordinance to amend the Constitutional Council Act to enable the constitutional body to take decisions on the basis of majority. Constitutional Council is the body that appoints officials to constitutional bodies.

President Bhandari’s personal aide Bhesh Raj Adhikari told THT that the ordinance amended the Constitutional Council Act’s provision that required all attending office bearers’ consent to take decision on any matter. Section 6 (5) of the Constitutional Council (Functions, Duties, Powers and Procedures) Act-2010 stipulates that each matter submitted at the meeting shall be decided unanimously. Section 6 (6) of the act stipulates that in case unanimous decision could not be taken pursuant to Section (5), no decision shall be taken over such matter.

PM Oli’s decision to amend the Constitutional Council Act comes in the backdrop of his dissatisfaction with leader of opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba who had boycotted some of the meetings of the CC over his differences with the PM on some constitutional appointments. Nepali Congress Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand told THT that the government’s decision to amend the Constitutional Council Act was against the spirit of the constitution. He said the government should have waited for the new session of the Parliament to convene to bring or change any law.

Article 284 of the constitution stipulates provisions for the formation of the Constitutional Council for making recommendations for appointment of the chief justice and chiefs and officials of the constitutional bodies.

The CC chaired by the prime minister has the chief justice, speaker of the House of Representatives, chairperson of the National Assembly, leader of opposition party in the House of Representatives and deputy speaker of the HoR as members.

A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.