Hold all three elections on time: SC

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 24, 2017-Following government’s declaration of the election date, the Supreme Court has ordered the government to hold elections of the local, province and federal levels within January 2018 for what it calls a “full implementation of the constitution”.

A divisional bench of Justices Iswar Prasad Khatiwada and Anil Kumar Sinha on Wednesday issued the ruling in response to a writ petition lodged at the apex court demanding an order for the concerned authorities to declare the date for the elections of the Federal House of Representatives and the Provincial Assemblies. 

In September last year, Advocates Chandra Kant Gyawali, Bimal Gyawali, Liladhar Upadhyaya and Shashi Kumar Karki had filed the petition naming the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Legislature-Parliament as the defendants, demanding that the election laws be drafted and the date for elections announced. 

The petitioners argued that the spirit of the constitution was to hold polls to local bodies first and not local level, and that the government should honour the spirit of the constitution.

Article 303(3) of the constitution stipulates that the officials elected to the local bodies in accordance with Clause(2) shall continue to hold office until the local level election are held in accordance with this constitution.

“As it is the government’s responsibility to ensure the end of transition by January 2018, it would be a betrayal towards the constitution if anything otherwise is envisioned,” reads the court order.

The apex court had heard the amicus curiae in December as to 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 and Senior Advocates Sushil Panta, Bipulendra Chakrabarti and Prem Bahadur Khadka from the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) had offered their opinions on the case.

The constitutional responsibility of the government to make intensive and meaningful efforts to hold elections at all levels within the timeline set by the constitution should be the top most priority matter, adds the order.

Published: 24-02-2017 08:12

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