SC stays health secretary’s transfer

Kathmandu, November 2

The Supreme Court today stayed the transfer of Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Pushpa Chaudhary to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers. The interim order was passed by a single bench of Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra.

The government had transferred Dr Chaudhary to the reserve pool of the prime minister’s office on October 14 against which she filed a writ petition at the apex court yesterday.

The SC is yet to prepare the full texts of the interim order issued to the government.

Chaudhary’s lawyer Senior Advocate Surendra Kumar Mahto said her client moved the court because her service was governed by Nepal Health Service Act, 1997, a special law different from Civil Service Act and there was no provision in Nepal Health Service Act or relevant Rules to transfer health secretary to the prime minister’s office or other ministries.

“The transfer of my client was done with an intention to punish her,” Mahto said and added that the government should not minimise the role of Health Secretary Chaudhary, who is the first Madhesi woman secretary.

“The constitution guarantees proportional representation of women and marginalised communities and yet the government disregards this provision and transfers a Madhesi woman secretary to an office where she has no role to play,” Mahto argued.

The Supreme Court also issued a show cause notice to the government.

Other senior advocates Shambhu Thapa and Hari Prasad Uprety had also pleaded on behalf of the petitioner.