Nepal | August 07, 2020

Writ challenging Sapkota’s candidacy for speaker filed

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, January 24

Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi today filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court urging the apex court to stay the speaker’s election process and prevent Agni Prasad Sapkota from becoming the speaker.

Sapkota who faces a murder charge in Kavrepalanchowk district has filed his candidacy for the post of speaker. As he is the only candidate it is certain he will be declared the unopposed winner on Sunday when the Parliament announces the election result.

Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Agni Prasad Sapkota, at Singha Durbar, on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Photo: RSS

File – Then Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Agni Prasad Sapkota, at his office in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Photo: RSS

Purnimaya Lama had filed an FIR against Sapkota accusing him of abducting and killing her husband Arjun Lama, who was abducted in April 2005 from a parents-teacher meeting held at Shree Krishna Secondary School at Dapcha in Kavre.

Police registered the FIR lodged by Purnimaya after the court issued a mandamus order, but they have not arrested Sapkota yet.

The petitioner urged the court to form a special task force to monitor investigation into the murder case filed against Sapkota. He also demanded that those police personnel who did not arrest Sapkota as per the court order be punished under contempt of court law for defying the court order.

The petitioner has said Kavre police have been searching for Sapkota after an FIR was filed by Purnimaya Lama.

Arjun Lama was killed in Kavre in August 2005, during the decade-long conflict era.

Tripathi said the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s decision to field Sapkota as candidate for speaker was not only illegal, malicious, unconstitutional and against the rule of law, but also a serious case of affront to the Parliament.

The petitioner argued that as per the provisions of the new penal code, Sapkota, who has been accused in a murder case, must be arrested.

The petitioner also stated that the police, which had the legal obligation to arrest Sapkota, had not fulfilled its duty.

“If a person who is an absconder in the eyes of the law is made the speaker, it will defeat the spirit and soul of the democratic constitution and destroy the sanctity of the Parliament,” the petition stated. It further stated that international human rights standard and principles barred people accused of rights violation from holding public offices.

The petitioner named the Prime Minister’s Office, home ministry and Parliament Secretariat as defendants, among others.

A version of this article appears in print on January 25, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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