KATHMANDU, Feb 22: At a time when Nepal Bar Association (NBA), the umbrella organization of lawyers, has vehemently stood against formation of a government led by the sitting chief justice (CJ), over two dozen constitutional and legal experts on Thursday suggested to the major political parties that a CJ-led government can be formed under the present circumstances.
At a meeting with top leaders of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) in Singh Durbar, constitutional and legal experts, including former NBA president and attorney generals, said an election government can be formed under the sitting chief justice by removing constitutional and legal hurdles.
“A CJ-led government can be formed on condition that such a government would not interfere with the activities of judiciary,” said former attorney general Yuvraj Sangraula.
Leaders of four major forces with legal experts. (Photo: Republica)
NBA former Vice-president Surendra Kumar Mahato, who was also present at the meeting, stated that formation of a CJ-led government would not violate the interim constitution. “The best solution would be to allow the current government to conduct fresh polls but as the parties are not ready to do so, the chief justice can be entrusted with conducting free and fair election,” Mahato added.
Former president of NBA Bishwakant Mainali said they are ready to garner support for removal of constitutional and legal hurdles for the formation of a CJ-led government.
Asked about the possibility of the decision being challenged in the Supreme Court (SC), Mainali stated, “I think the apex court will not be barrier to resolving the current crisis.”
Mainali´s remark comes a day before the SC is likely to conduct hearing on a writ petition that has challenged the decision of political parties to form CJ-led election government. Attorney General Mukti Pradhan, who is the chief legal advisor to the prime minister, said a CJ-led election government can be formed to seek the people´s fresh mandate.
Former Attorney General Mahadev Yadav said political parties should try their best to form a government under the leadership of political parties. “I told them that they still have the chance to form a government led by the political parties,” he maintained, adding, “A government headed by the sitting chief justice cannot be formed by merely removing constitutional hurdles,” he stated.
Asked about suggestions made by the constitutional and legal experts, General Secretary of NBA Sunil Pokhrel said a government cannot be formed under leadership of the chief justice legally and constitutionally. “We are not against resolving the current crisis,” said Pokhrel, adding, “But a party-less government can not be an alternative in a multi-party system.”
Leaders of NBA were not invited by the major political parties for the consultation on the issue.