The Supreme Court today refused to issue an interim order on a writ petition demanding nullification of the registration of CPN (Unified Socialist).

The new party was formed by Madhav Kumar Nepal after he split the CPN-UML on the basis of the Political Party Act (Second Amendment) Ordinance that lowered the threshold for splitting parties from 40 per cent support both in the central committee and the parliamentary party to 20 per cent support either in the central committee or the parliamentary party.

The five-member constitutional bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana issued a show cause notice to the defendants – the Council of Ministers and others.

The apex court's order came in response to seven writ petitions filed by advocates Arjun Kumar Aryal, Nikesh Kumar Lamsal, Pravesh KC, Shreekant Baral, Saroj Dhami, Rajiv Bastola, and Dal Bahadur Dhami. The court ordered the defendants to furnish written reply within seven days, according to SC Spokesperson Baburam Dahal.

Former attorney general Ramesh Badal, who pleaded on behalf of petitioner Shreekanta Baral, argued before the bench that the ordinance should be nullified as it was brought bypassing the Parliament. He said constitutional benches had observed in citizenship ordinance case that the ruling on the basis of ordinance could lead to autocracy.

He argued that the ordinance amended provisions of the Political Party Act, allowing representatives of provincial assemblies and local levels to choose between the mother party and the splinter group, but the laws did not allow such provisions for the representatives of provincial assemblies and local levels.

The Political Party Act (Second Amendment) Ordinance was brought by the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government to engineer split in the UML and the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal.

The Upendra Yadav-led JSP-N, which is a partner in the five-party ruling alliance, has refused to send his leaders to the Deuba Cabinet before rescinding the ordinance. Yadav fears that his party could suffer more splits if he sent his leaders to the Cabinet without the government rescinding the ordinance first. Yadav's stance has delayed expansion of the Deuba Cabinet.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 25 2021, of The Himalayan Times.