Gandaki PA bars Gurung from being sworn in

Pokhara, January 6

Gandaki Provincial Assembly has barred Rajiv Gurung alias Deepak Manange, who was released from jail on general date after a Supreme Court order last month, from taking the oath of office and secrecy.

A meeting of Business Advisory Committee of Gandaki Provincial Assembly today decided not to swear in Rajiv Gurung. He faces a charge of attempted murder.

Gurung had filed an application at the Provincial Assembly requesting it to swear him in on December 26. After today’s meeting, PA Speaker Netranath Adhikari said, “The PA has decided not to administer the oath of office and secrecy to Gurung based on election-related act and other laws of the Provincial Assembly.” The committee took the decision to this effect as the case was not yet finalised by the Supreme Court and he was released on general date.

Gandaki Minister of Internal Affairs and Law Hari Bahadur Chuman and Chief Attorney Rajendra Ghimire were among those who participated in the PA meeting. All the participants agreed not to administer the oath to Gurung.

The Patan Appellant Court had convicted Gurung in the attempt to murder case and sentenced him to five years in prison. Gurung was freed after he filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court demanding reversal of the court verdict and posted bail. Gurung can move the Supreme Court demanding that he be allowed to swear in as Gandaki PA lawmaker.

Gurung was elected as member of Provincial Assembly as an independent candidate with the erstwhile CPN-UML’s support from Manang (B).

According to a Gandaki Provincial Assembly provision, a lawmaker who remains absent for 10 consecutive meetings without information can be removed from his/her post. Gurung’s post, however, is intact as he is yet to take the oath of office and secrecy.

The 60-member Gandaki Provincial Assembly has 58 members. Tek Bahadur Gurung, elected from Baglung passed away two weeks ago, while Manange is yet to be sworn in.