Move to sack last govt’s appointees ‘lacks merit’

The govt should have acted immediately after it was formed, not after months?

Kathmandu, July 5

Legal eagles say the government’s decision to rescind appointments made in government institutions by the SherBahadurDeuba-led government after August 30 lacks merit.

Senior Advocate Surendra Kumar Mahto told THT that the decision to rescind appointments made by the previous government was not in conformity with the rule of law and norms of democracy.

“Courts have established principles whereby the government must give reasons to remove an appointee, particularly when his/her tenure has been fixed in the appointment letter. This means the reasons must be justified and they should  not be arbitrary,” he said.

Mahto said if the governments were allowed to cancel decisions of the previous government it could invite instability, making functioning of the government difficult.

Constitutional expert BhimarjunAcharya said the government’s decision to rescind appointments made by Deuba was unjustified and unreasonable.

“The government has rescinded the Deuba-led government’s decisions many months after coming to power. If the new government thought that the previous government’s decisions were erroneous, it  should have acted immediately after it was formed,” he said. “How can one argue that the duties discharged by the people appointed by the last government were okay all these months and not so now?” he wondered.

Acharya said the Supreme Court had set precedents in some cases whereby appointment to posts with fixed tenures could not be terminated before the expiry of their tenure. He added that questions could have been raised immediately after the Deuba-led government made appointments on account of its caretaker status, but the same questions could not be raised after so many months.

Mahto and Acharya said the new government was bound to follow certain legacies of the previous government.

Another constitutional expert, Chandra Kanta Gyawali, said the Oli-led government’s decision to rescind the Deuba-led government’s decision to make appointments to several government institutions was political in nature and could become a matter of judicial review.