Show cause to govt over palace placation

Kathmandu, June 22:

The Supreme Court today refused to issue show cause notices to deposed king Gyanendra and his relatives on the use of palaces as their residences even after the abolition of monarchy.

A single bench of justice Ram Prasad Shrestha refused to issue show cause notices. However, the bench told government authorities — Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet and the Home Ministry — to explain within 15 days on why the government decided to let the ex-royals stay in the palaces.

After a long dispute, the apex court had accepted a petition on the matter as per the order of Justice Kalyan Shrestha.

Earlier, SC registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena had refused to register the petition. Stating that the decisions to provide facilities to the deposed king and his kin were political in nature, Dr Timalsena had said that the apex court cannot examine political issues. After justice Shrestha’s order, advocate Bhupendra Prasad Pokhrel had filed the writ petition on Friday.

In his petition, the lawyer claimed that it is inappropriate to let the former king and his mother and grandmother Ratna and Sarala to stay in Mahendra Manzil of the Narayanhiti palace as the royals have become commoners after the abolition of monarchy.

The cabinet decision to provide palaces to the former royals is unconstitutional, the petitioner claimed and sought the apex court stay order to the government to revoke the decision through mandamus and certiorari orders. The petitioner claimed that decisions made by the government on June 4, June 6 and June 8 to provide facilities to ex-royals are in violation of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007.