Contempt of court cases were filed today against four former chief justices - Kalyan Shrestha, Sushila Karki, Anup Raj Sharma, and Min Bahadur Rayamajhi - for condemning the government's move to dissolve the House of Representatives.

Advocates Dhanjit Basnet and Lochan Bhattarai have filed separate cases against the four former CJs.

Bhattarai has argued in his petition that the four chief justices' remarks against the dissolution of the House of Representatives are contemptuous since the matter is sub judice and such remarks undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The four former chief justices had issued a statement on January 8, saying that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's move to dissolve the House of Representatives was an unconstitutional act and the court should quash the government's decision to dissolve the House and reinstate it.

In a joint statement, the former CJs had stated that the articles that were cited for the dissolution of the House didn't empower the prime minister to do so.

They had stated that such gross misinterpretation of constitutional provisions could lead to misuse of the structure of the constitution leading to a state of crisis. Advocate Basnet argued that the four former chief justices' statement disrespected the independence of the judiciary.

The court has scheduled the first hearing of the case for tomorrow.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.