Nepal govt extends CA term, defies SC order
Yubaraj Ghimire, KATHMANDU: In breach of its own repeated assurances and the Supreme Court order, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday decided to extend the tenure of the Constituent Assembly (CA) by three months beyond May 28, its current date of term expiry.
The cabinet took the decision in a hurried meeting on Tuesday evening, overruling the objection raised by the Nepali Congress Party. “We have serious reservation as it is in violation of the Supreme Court judgment that had asked the CA to deliver the constitution by May 28 (2012) failing which it will stand dissolved,” the party said.
However, as the political parties failed to solve many contentious issues including the model of federalism, Prime Minister Bhattarai bulldozed the opposition, preferring to go for a showdown, both with the Nepali Congress as well as the judiciary.
In fact, President Ram Baran Yadav was also left with a fait accompli as Bhattarai went to see him only after an official resolution to extend the House tenure was tabled in Parliament.
The Supreme Court had rejected separate petitions for review of the ealier verdict fixing May 28 as the irreversible deadline for constitution delivery.
Interestingly, K P Sitaula, Deputy Prime Minister from the Congress Party, endorsed the cabinet decision, contrary to party chief Koirala’s stand.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister’s office had called Supreme Court Chief Justice Khilaraj Regmi for a meeting with four political party chiefs and Attorney General Mukti Pradhan.The Chief Justice, however, left the meeting in five minutes saying he was in no position to attend a political meeting.
Pradhan, a Maoist leader, had opined that extending the CA tenure purely falls under the domain of the legislature, and that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction over the executive and legislative rights.(Source: Indian Express)
During his meeting with the President, Bhattarai explained the compelling reason for extension of the House tenure, in the context of unrest across the country.