KATHMANDU, JANUARY 28
Lawyers representing petitioners who have challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives continued to argue before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli went beyond the constitution to dissolve the HoR.
Senior Advocate Hari Prasad Uprety, who pleaded on behalf of petitioner Dev Prasad Gurung and others said the PM's argument for dissolving the HoR for fresh mandate was flawed because the constitution did not give the PM the power to dissolve the HoR for fresh mandate before the expiry of the HoR tenure. He said the PM's argument that he dissolved the HoR because his own party leaders created obstacles in the smooth functioning of his government was frivolous. Since sovereignty lies in the people of the country and sovereign people have sent their representatives to the HoR, the PM must seek resolution of all issues in the House first and if the HoR fails to resolve the problems, only then can the PM seek mandate from the people, he said.
Countering the PM for 'invoking parliamentary traditions and practices to dissolve the HoR', Uprety said parliamentary traditions and practices had no meaning in countries like Nepal which were governed by written constitutions.
He said if the PM's argument about the need for fresh mandate was accepted, then that could create political instability in the country. "What if the new prime minister seeks to dissolve the HoR on grounds of fresh mandate?" he wondered.
Another Senior Advocate Gopal Krishna Ghimire argued that even in the UK where the PM used to exercise his prerogative to dissolve the House, a new fixed-term Parliaments Act was enacted in 2011 that stripped the PM of the right to dissolve the Lower House. He said the UK Supreme Court had ruled in 2019 that the prorogation of the Parliament for five weeks by the queen on recommendation of the PM was unconstitutional.