SC show cause notice to govt over border issue

Kathmandu, November 15

The Supreme Court today issued a show cause notice to the government, seeking the latter’s written clarification on Nepal-India border issue related to the Kalapani region.

A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana issued the notice responding to two writ petitions filed by Advocate Kanchan Krishna Neupane and Advocate Sujit KC and lecturer Phanindra Nepal.

The government has to submit a clarification to the SC within 15 days after the issuance of the summons, according to the SC Information Officer Devendra Dhakal. “The SC will hopefully issue the summons on Sunday,” said Dhakal.

He added that the SC had accorded high priority to the case and it would be heard before other cases.

In the petitions filed in the SC on Wednesday, the petitioners have demanded that the SC issue a mandamus order directing the government to protect Nepali territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Susta.

The petition was filed in the court after a recently-published Indian political map depicted the Kalapani region, including Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, as Indian territory. The border issue related to Susta has also remained unresolved for several years.

The petitioners have also sought SC directives to the government asking the latter to issue a new political map of Nepal, incorporating the Kalapani area, and make diplomatic and political initiatives to reclaim the land. The petitioners have also sought an SC directive to the government to invoke international laws in this regard.

Stating that the Indian map under-mined Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the petitioners have argued that it is the government’s responsibility to protect the country’s territory.

Defendants named in the petitions include the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Land Reforms and the Department of Survey. The Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has already directed the government to correct erroneous maps of Nepal in education and other materials and publish a new one encompassing the Kalapani region on the eastern side of the Mahakali River originating from Limpiyadhura.

Following the publication of the Indian map on November 2, the government made its position clear that it would not accept any unilateral decision on outstanding border-related issues. An all-party meeting on Saturday also concluded that the Kalapani region was Nepali territory and any such border-related issue should be resolved through dialogue and mutual understanding on the basis of historic documents and proofs.