January 7, 2017 12:54:30 am
AN ALLEGED “secret meeting” between Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Chief Justice Sushila Karki over the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill, which is currently under consideration of Parliament, has triggered a public controversy. The news of the “secret meeting” became public after Prachanda on Thursday assured leaders of the agitating Madhesi Front that he had been able to convince the Chief Justice about the merit of the proposed amendment and said that “it has paved the way for us to move ahead”.
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The meeting also comes at a time when the Supreme Court faces criticism over the appointment of judges with political background after recommendation of their respective parties. “It is not the job of the Chief Justice to advise the Prime Minister,” said K P Oli, former PM and chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist. Opposition leader Oli was speaking at a public meeting that had been called by his party to oppose the proposed Bill.
“(The meeting) is clear proof that the Supreme Court is being dictated by political parties that run the government,” said former Kathmandu mayor P L Singh, who has been campaigning for the revival of the 1991 Constitution with a constitutional monarchy and a multi-party system. Singh, who was speaking at a separate public meeting, also accused the Supreme Court of imparting “selective justice” by disposing some cases “within a span of one to four months, while keeping others pending for years.”
Oppn holds protest
The main Opposition alliance led by CPN-UML on Friday held a massive protest in the capital to force the government to withdraw the Constitution Amendment Bill aimed at addressing the demands of agitating Madhesi parties. Over one lakh activists and supporters of the nine-party alliance participated in the protest in the capital as a major strength show against the Prachanda-led coalition government’s move.
The protesting parties have been claiming that the bill was anti-constitutional and against national interests as it was brought out to serve interests of external forces. The ruling alliance, mainly comprising CPN Maoist Centre and Nepali Congress, has been making efforts to amend the Constitution aiming to address the demands of agitating Madhesi parties. The Bill aims to accommodate the demands of the agitating Madhesi and ethnic groups that include citizenship and boundary demarcation issues among others. (with pti inputs)
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