Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Centre Pushpa Kamal Dahal today filed a review petition at the Supreme Court challenging its decision to nullify the unification between the CPN-UML and the CPN- MC.

A division bench of justices Bam Kumar Shrestha and Kumar Regmi had on March 7 decided to accord the name 'Nepal Communist Party' to Rishi Ram Kattel-led party and effectively nullified the 2018 unification between the UML and the CPN-MC.

The court had observed that its decision would revive the UML and the CPN- MC and if they wanted to merge again, they could duly apply for the same.

Talking to mediapersons in the court, Dahal hoped that the division bench's verdict to annul unification between the two parties would be corrected as the verdict was unnatural and political in nature.

"The plaintiff had only sought change of name and not the nullification of the NCP but the division bench nullified the unification of the NCP," Dahal said.

He said there were instances where the SC had reviewed its own decisions and he expected the same in this case too. "I believe that the court will correct its division bench's decision to split a unified party," Dahal said in response to journalists' query.

"How can the nullification of the NCP be justified when Section 6 of the Political Party Act stipulates that if a registered party's name mimics the name of any other party, then it should be given a chance to make corrections?" Dahal asked in his writ petition.

He said the division bench's verdict effectively prevented registration and operation of a political party, in violation of the constitution and prevailing laws.

Dahal said the Election Commission had accorded 'Nepal Communist Party' to almost all communist parties and in order to make them starkly different from one another, additional information was added after 'Nepal Communist Party' and the same was done in the case of his party. He argued that since his party's name 'Nepal Communist Party (NCP)' was starkly different from Kattel-led Nepal Communist Party, the division bench's ruling that the names of the two parties were identical was wrong.

The petition stated that the division bench's verdict questioned the legality of multiple NCP (NCP) representatives who were elected on NCP tickets, including the president and the vice-president.

Dahal said the constitutional bench of the SC validated the unification of the NCP when it ruled that the status of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's government had changed from 76 (2) (coalition) government to 76 (1) (simple majority) government, but the division bench's ruling went against the five-member constitutional bench.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 31, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.