Military Act challenged in Apex Court

Kathmandu, February 1:

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed today in the Supreme Court seeking the apex court’s order to annul several provisions in the Military Act 1959 that the petitioner said contradict with the country’s constitution.

The writ petitioner claimed that there are over one-and-a-half dozen of provisions in the Act that contradict with the Constitution regarding the military operation and army mobilisation. “The Constitution has made the provision of the Security Council to mobilise the army but the Act has provisions to mobilise the army with the command of the King,” the petitioner claimed.

“Despite the Constitutional provision (Article 118) to mobilise the army with the decision of the Security Council headed by Prime Minister, the Military Act has provision that say the army should be operated with the command of the King. The Act also has provisions under which the King can keep forces for his use,” the petitioner states.

Advocate Bharat Mani Gautam filed the petition seeking the Supreme Court order to nullify the provisions, which contradict with the Constitution. The PMO, the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Parliament Secretariat have been made defendants in the case.

The petitioner also sought certiorari and other necessary orders in this regard. The advocate has also listed various clauses of the Act which he said contradict with various Articles of the Constitution. “The provisions in the Military Act are against the concept of ‘King can do no wrong in parliamentary democracy’, thus the court should nullify these provisions,” he added.