June 23, 2021 1:09:58 am
Nepal’s Supreme Court, which has been hearing a number of petitions challenging series of decisions by the government, on Tuesday stayed the last two Cabinet expansions carried out by Prime Minister K P Oli.
Earlier, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had endorsed the recommendation of the Oli Cabinet to dissolve Parliament on May 22 midnight and simultaneously asked him to continue in the post till elections scheduled in November. But Oli, who struck new deals with political parties in order to continue as premier, had inducted 20 ministers in the Cabinet on June 4 and June 10.
On Tuesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Prakash Dhungana issued an interim order to the effect that Oli in his current “status” cannot make changes prima facie in the Cabinet and ruled that the 20 newly-inducted ministers should not be assigned portfolios and responsibilities till the case is settled.
The bench said Article 77(3) (1) of the Constitution clearly states that in the event of the Prime Minister’s post falling vacant, the same cabinet will continue till a new one is formed.
With this, the Oli Cabinet will now have just five members left.
A Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJ Rana, is also likely to begin hearing a petition challenging the dissolution of the House by President Bhandari on May 22.
Last week, the apex court had issued interim orders staying the execution of an ordinance amending the citizenship law, and the budget provision exporting pebbles, stones and sands to India to “reduce the trade deficit”.