Nepal | April 05, 2020

House panel locks horns with SC over staff recruitment

Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, July 2

The parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee meeting today observed that the Supreme Court violated constitutional norms while paving the way for the federal government to hire employees at local levels.

“The parliamentary committee will soon ask the legal division of the Parliament Secretariat and direct it to tell the Supreme Court stating the SC had entered our jurisdiction by allowing the government to give continuity to the process of hiring employees at local levels,” Shashi Shrestha, chairperson of the committee, told THT after today’s meeting.

According to Shrestha, the panel invoked Article 103 (2) of the constitution to arrive at its decision.

The article states, “Each house of the federal parliament shall, subject to the constitution, have full power to regulate and decide its internal business, and the concerned house shall have the exclusive right to decide whether or not any of its proceedings is regular or irregular.

No question shall be raised in any court in this regard.”

“We’ll write a letter to the Supreme Court based on this constitutional provision,” said Shrestha.

The statement comes a day after the apex court refused to issue stay order against the Federal Public Service Commission’s job advertisement seeking to recruit 9,161 employees at 515 local levels.

READ: FPSC ad: SC refuses to issue stay order

The apex court, however, has allowed the defendant to present its views on the case at the court, according to Kishor Paudel, a media expert at the SC.

Although the apex court is yet to come up with a final verdict on the case, the refusal to issue stay order will enable the Federal Public Service Commission to give continuity to the process of recruiting employees at local levels.

This development comes at a time when the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has directed the government to scrap the public notice published by the FPSC stating the process was against the spirit of the constitution.

A majority of federal lawmakers of the parliamentary committee had expressed dissatisfaction over the federal government’s move to hire employees at local levels, stating that the FPSC advertisement did not follow the constitutional provision on proportional inclusion. They have also called this move an attempt to infringe upon the jurisdiction of the provincial government, which is authorised to hire employees on behalf of local governments.

“We had asked the government to scrap the job advertisement on the basis of constitutional and legal provisions,” said Shrestha.

Article 128 (2) of the constitution, however, states that the Supreme Court shall have the final authority to interpret the constitution and laws.

The Supreme Court had decided to pave the way for the federal government to hire employees as “more than 400,000 people have applied for various posts, and around 150,000 people have applied for reserved posts”. “It will not be appropriate to issue an interim order as it will deprive these applicants of their right to compete for jobs,” the SC observed in its order.

A version of this article appears in print on July 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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