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The Chief’s stance



On three previous decisions the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has stood on the side of the people's representatives. In 1994, when Girija Prasad Koirala dissolved parliament, he [the Chief Justice] upheld with the opinion that the dissolution of parliament by a prime minister who had resigned in order to obstruct the possibility of another government being formed was unconstitutional-even though that was a minority decision. In 1995, when then UML Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikary dissolved parliament, the present Chief Justice sided with the decision of former Chief Justice Biswonath Upadhyay. That majority opinion ruled against the decision to dissolve parliament, saying that it was taken after a quarter of the parliamentarians had initiated a move to act against the government. Similarly, in 1997, when Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa petitioned the king to dissolve parliament-after one-fourth of the MPs in parliament had petitioned to convene a special session of the House-he [the Chief] went along with the decision of then chief justice Om Bhakta Rana, which favoured the political representatives. [This time around, the court's opinion was sought by the then king.] The ruling upholds the powers of the prime minister under Article 53 (3) of the constitution as not fully discretionary-at least not against the right of the MPs to seek a special session of parliament.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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