SC show cause to EC for recognising NCP (NCP)

Kathmandu, December 10 

The Supreme Court today issued show cause notice to the defendants in a case filed by Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party Rishi Ram Kattel against the Election Commission’s decision to recognise the KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

A single bench of Justice Dambar Bahadur Shahi told the defendants to submit their written replies within 15 days.

Kattel had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court on Friday saying recognition of ‘Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’ mimicked his party’s name and it was an illegal act.  This party was created on May 17 after the merger of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre.

The petitioner has named the Election Commission, NCP (NCP) chairpersons KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal as defendants.

Kattel’s  lawyer Dandapani Paudel told THT that his client argued in the case that  his party had stated in its document that it would identify itself as NCP in brief and the EC’s decision to recognise NCP (NCP) would mimic his party’s name. He said the laws clearly stipulated that parties should have their separate identity, but Oli and Dahal-led NCP (NCP) violated the identity of the party led by his client.

“The Kattel-led party’s full name is NCP and brief name is NCP and now Oli and Dahal-led party’s full name and brief name are similar to that of Kattel’s party,” Paudel said and added that although NCP (NCP) leaders argued that they had put N C P in brackets with space between all three letters, but in practice people do not distinguish such minor differences between the two parties. “Both full and brief name of Oli and Dahal-led party mimics the Kattel-led party’s name,” Paudel said and added that the EC’s decision to recognise the name of the ruling NCP (NCP) had violated the provisions of Article 270 of the constitution that prohibited restriction on any political party.

“NCP (NCP) wants to erase the identify of other small parties and therefore, they registered the party with that name,” Paudel argued. Paudel said there were other Nepal Communist Parties registered at the EC but their names in brackets were starkly different.

Kattel has argued in his petition that as per section 6 (1) of the Political Party Act, the EC cannot register a new party in case the name of the new party sounds similar to the name of a party which has already been registered at the EC.

Kattel has also argued in his petition that as per Section 10 of the Political Party Act, a new party can be created after the merger of two or more parties but in this case, NCP (NCP) cannot be given validity because this party was not created out of the merger between the two parties. He further argues that the NCP (NCP) was created only after the registration of CPN-UML and CPN-MC were cancelled.