voting rights of officials on duty

  • SC calls amicus curiae
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 6, 2017-The Supreme Court has called an amicus curiae on the writ demanding voting rights for civil servants and security forces on election duty.

Citing the gravity of the issue, a division bench of Justices Dipak Raj Joshi and Dambar Bahadur Shahi has decided to appoint the amicus curiae comprising one each senior advocate or advocate from the Nepal Bar Association and the Supreme Court Bar Association.

On behalf of writ petitioner Bharat Kumar Mainali, Senior Advocates Yadunath Khanal and Bijay Singh Sijapati, and Advocates Jagadish Acharya and Manish Basnet pleaded during the hearing on Sunday while Senior Advocate Shyam Kumar Bhattarai and Advocate Ghanashyam Ojha defended the Election Commission’s decision.

An amicus curiae is generally called to take a decision on important matters but the justices may have taken the decision to avoid unnecessary remarks at a time when the nation is gripped by the election fever, according to a lawyer. The apex court on November 1 decided to summon Election Commission officers for discussion on Sunday over the EC’s move to deny the civil servants and security officers deployed for the polls voting rights. 

In his writ, civil servant Bharat Kumar Mainali has demanded the SC’s order to ensure voting rights for the officials by allowing them to vote in the proportional representation poll.

Mainali has demanded that the SC annul any measure that bars civil servants from voting. The EC had formed a five-member task force led by Joint-secretary Dinesh Ghimire to study ways to guarantee voting rights of the civil servants and security personnel listed as voters. Ghimire said the team submitted its report on Friday but refused to make public the recommendations.

An EC officer said the report warns of duplication of vote by civil servants as the polls are held in two phases.

Published: 06-11-2017 07:33

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