Nepal’s Supreme Court summons PM, Speaker over amendment Bill

Kathmandu, Dec 8 (IANS) Nepal’s Supreme Court on Thursday summoned Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar on a plea that has challenged the Constitution Amendment Bill tabled in parliament.

A single bench of Justice Jagadish Sharma Poudel issued notice on the government to come up with a written reply within December 20 clarifying the reasons for bringing the Constitution Amendment bill on topics such as altering the borders of the provinces, naturalised citizenship, representation on the National Assembly and the language commission which, the plea maintained, were against the spirit of the Constitution.

The apex court issued the notice in response to a writ petition filed by five persons on behalf of the Ex-MPs’ Forum challenging the Constitution Amendment Bill.

In order to address the grievances and demands of the agitating Madhes-based political parties, the Nepal government had registered an amending Bill in Parliament expecting that it will end the one-year-long political logjam.

The main opposition CPN (UML) has described the amendment as anti-national as the Bill seeks to carve out a new state in the western region of Nepal by splitting Province No.5 into two exclusive Provinces No.2 and No.5 to meet the demands of the ethnic Madhesi community.

In the writ petition, the petitioners had argued that only the federal parliament and the provincial assemblies had the right to change the borders and the number of provinces.