Senior Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Singh said that as per Article 78 (4) Rabi Lamichhane cannot become a minister as the SC invalidated his election to the House of Representatives and the same ought to be interpreted as his defeat.

Although Article 78 (1) of the constitution stipulates that any Nepali citizen can become a minister for six months, Article 78 (4) of the constitution says that a person who has lost HoR election cannot become a minister during the term of the same HoR.

Singh said since Lamichhane had accepted the Supreme Court verdict, Article 78 (4) would apply to him.

Even if the RSP withdraws support to the government, the Dahal-led government won't have to seek vote of confidence as it enjoys the support of the ruling parties as well as the Nepali Congress, he said. "The Dahal government will have to seek vote of confidence only when it cannot retain the support of 138 lawmakers," he added.

He said the Oli government did not seek vote of confidence when the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal withdrew support to it as the government had the support of enough lawmakers in the HoR.

Another Senior Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali, however, said that only the full text of the apex court verdict would make it clear what would be the consequences of Lamichhane not getting his citizenship restored before filing his candidacy for the November 20 elections.

"We will have to wait to see if the court only voids his election to the HoR or it voids his candidacy. "If the SC voids his election to the HoR, Lamichhane can contest in the byelection, but if the SC voids his candidacy, his nearest rival could be declared the winner," Gyawali added.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 1, 2023, of The Himalayan Times.