KATHMANDU, Nov 9: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the October 11 decision of the Ministry of Energy to award the 650 MW Tamakoshi III hydropower project to TBI Holdings till November 15 and summoned the government authorities to attend a hearing on November 15 to discuss whether or not to extend the stay order.
A single bench of Justice Tej Bahadur KC issued the order following the hearing conducted on Wednesday in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Khadga Bahadur Budhathoki. Budhadhiki in the petition filed on Tuesday has demanded that the ministry's decision be scrapped as the project was awarded without competitive bidding.
The writ petitioner also accused the Ministry of Energy of violating constitutional and legal provisions while awarding the project to TBI Holdings owned by Bhaban Bhatta, newly-elected president of Non-Resident Nepali Association. The petitioner has said that the ministry's decision was taken with ill intent at a time when the country is focussed on elections.
Budhathoki has argued that the government breached Section 9 of the Public Procurement Act 2007; Section 4 (4) of Investment Board Act, 2011; Section 4 (4) of Nepal Electricity Act, 1992; and Section 6 of the Good Governance Act, 2007 by awarding the project to the firm.