President can't be quizzed for shelving ordinances: Experts
KATHMANDU, Jan 17: While the President´s Office has shelved seven various draft ordinances forwarded by the government, constitutional and legal experts have said that the Supreme Court (SC) cannot compel the head of state to approve them.
Constitutional and legal experts have made such remarks at a time when the government is mulling a legal way to exert pressure on the president to approve the ordinances.
Constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya said, "The court cannot compel the president to approve the ordinances."
Acharya maintained that one can politically question the president´s discretion but this again cannot be challenged in court.
Senior Advocate Harihar Dahal stated that the president approves ordinances forwarded by the government only if he is satisfied. "But, the president is not satisfied with the draft ordinances as the present caretaker government is not accountable to the people," he added.
Even if the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai challenges the president in court, I don´t think the SC would order the president to approve the ordinances, said Dahal.
Advocate and leader of CPN-UML Agni Kharel said if the government wants to challenge the president it should move the court.
Kharel argued that the president does not have any alternative other than putting the ordinances on hold as political parties have not reached consensus on the issue.
However, Advocate Ram Prasad Bidari said the president cannot be questioned for shelving the ordinances legally.
"The government may lose the legal battle as our courts are not progressive," Bidari stated.
The government in August had forwarded draft ordinances on Disappearance, Truth and Reconciliation, Education Service (Eight amendments) Ordinance 2012, Civil Service (third amendment) Ordinance, 2012 and Nepal Health Service (fourth amendment) Ordinance, 2012.
The president in the same month had rejected two election-related draft ordinances forwarded by the government arguing that they were not relevant.
The government in last December had forwarded an ordinance, which was aimed at skipping parliamentary hearing for appointment of Supreme Court justices.
Similarly, the cabinet meeting held on Jan 8 had decided to forward an ordinance aimed at amending some existing acts, in order to make the government services including health, education, local bodies, among others inclusive.