Kathmandu, August 17

The Supreme Court today issued an interim order on a writ petition   filed by four persons who were among the 14 nominees for ambassadorial posts whose names were withdrawn by the new government.

This means the government cannot nominate new ambassadors in place of the four petitioners till the next order is passed on the case.

A single bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki passed the order. The Supreme Court also asked the government to submit written reasons for withdrawing the names of the petitioners within 15 days.

The next hearing has been scheduled for August 24 when both sides will have to present their arguments on the case. The SC will then decide whether or not to continue the interim order.

Registrar of the Supreme Court Shreekant Paudel said today’s order would be valid till August 24 and would apply to the four petitioners and if the court passed a general order on August 24 in favour of the nominees for ambassadors then other nominees whose names were withdrawn could also benefit from the order.

Constitutional expert advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said other nominees for ambassadors could also be indirect beneficiaries of today’s order but in order to be direct beneficiaries they should also file cases.

Acharya added that the court could also pass a general order on the case and if that happened, it could apply to all 14 nominees whose names were withdrawn by the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government.

The Supreme Court has told the defendants not to recommend, conduct hearing and appoint anybody in place of the petitioners till August 24 when the next hearing is scheduled to take place.

The KP Sharma Oli-led government had nominated 22 ambassadors, including eight career diplomats, but the Dahal-led government withdrew the names of 14 nominees who were recommended on the basis of political affiliations.

Four of the nominees  Yubraj Karki, Narad Bhardwaj, Khadga Bahadur KC and Shivamaya Tumbahamphe  had filed a writ on Monday against the new government’s decision to withdraw their names.

The petitioners have stated in their writ petition that Parliamentary hearings were conducted for some nominees but not for others, which was against the principle of equality.

The petitioners have named the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Parliament Secretariat and the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee as defendants.