Lawyers urge PM to take fresh oath

Kathmandu, January 18:

Constitutional experts have urged Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to take the oath of office in the Legislative Parliament, saying political leaders have introduced the mandatory oath taking provision to control judges.

The PM should have sworn in Chief Justice only after taking the oath of office under the new constitution, constitutional lawyer Purna Man Shakya told this daily today.

“No one is above the constitution. Every official should take oath under this constitution. The PM is not above the Interim Constitution.”

Though Koirala had taken oath in the parliament as an MP of the interim legislature, he is yet to take the oath of office under the constitution as prime minister. “How can the Chief Justice and justices, who are the real protectors of the constitution, be required to take the oath under the constitution, while the PM is not required to take the oath?” Shakya questioned.

“Every official should take oath after the promulgation of a new constitution.” Through oath-taking, politicians want to control the judges, an SC justice said.

A senior advocate, Basudev Dhungana, termed the decision to make it mandatory for judges to take fresh oath “a political decision”.

He, however, said, “Since the PM and other officials took fresh oath after the movement, they might not want to take fresh oath.”