KATHMANDU, May 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Constituent Assembly (CA) to allow lawmaker and former cabinet minister Shyam Sundar Gupta, who is under detention for a kidnapping charge, to cast his vote on any issue related to the new constitution.
The SC ordered that Gupta be allowed to cast his vote from jail in view of the “special historic importance of the new constitution”. A joint bench of SC justices Girish Chandra Lal and Tahir Ali Ansari issued the verdict.
The SC order has come in favor of the Sadavawana Party leader as the CA has failed to introduce necessary laws to deal with criminal cases involving CA members. The CA regulation is silent on whether a CA member charged with a criminal case should be stripped of his rights as a lawmaker.
A CA committee headed by Maoist lawmaker Amrita Thapa was formed to fill this legal vacuum immediately after Gupta was charged with kidnapping Pawan Sanghai, a businessman, in December. However, the committee has remained virtually inactive.
The SC, however, said that Gupta would not enjoy other rights and prerogatives he had been enjoying as a lawmaker before his detention. Gupta had argued in his petition that he should be allowed to enjoy the rights and prerogatives as a lawmaker.
Gupta had moved the SC after CA chairman Subash Chandra Nemwang did not respond to his appeal.
Earlier, four CA members were suspended and stripped of their parliamentary rights for misusing their red passports.