row over local polls

  • A member says they will hear both the sides and give their opinions on the issue to help the court reach a conclusion
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 28, 2016-

The Supreme Court is set to hear from the amicus curiae on Wednesday whether the local level elections should be held under the old (existing) set-up or a new one.

Senior Advocates Shailendra Kumar Dahal, Purna Man Shakya and Bishwa Kant Mainali from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Senior Advocates Sushil Panta, Bipulendra Chakrabarti and Prem Bahadur Khadka from Nepal Bar Association (NBA) will offer their opinions on the case.

Last Wednesday, a division bench of Justices Cholendra Sumsher Rana and Hari Krishna Karki had taken the decision to seek amicus briefs from the NBA and the SCBA.

An amicus curiae is a party that is not involved in a particular litigation but that is allowed by the court to advise it on a matter of law or policy directly affecting the litigation.

“We hear both the sides and give our opinions on the issue to help the court reach a conclusion,” said Shakya. “It is not necessary that all amicus curiae members have a common opinion.”

The court will hear from the plaintiff and the government attorney first. After hearing arguments on both sides, the amicus curiae will offer its opinion on the matter.

Debate over whether to hold the local elections under the existing structure or a new set-up is raging, especially after the government registered a constitution amendment bill, polarising the political parties. 

According to the constitution, the country must hold three levels of elections—local, provincial and federal—by January 2018. Local elections have not been held in the country for more than 16 years.

A commission formed to determine the number and boundaries of the local 

units (village and municipal councils) under the federal set-up has finalised its report and is waiting for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to receive it.

The commission recommends 725 local units. Once the commission’s report comes into force, new local units will replace 217 municipalities and 3,117 village development committees.

Advocates Chandra Kanta Gyawali, Parshuram Upadhyaya, Liladhar Upadhyaya, Bimal Gyawali, Bijaya Gautam and Shashi Karki had registered the writ arguing that the local elections should be held under the existing structure.

Published: 28-12-2016 08:09

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