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Nepal SC gives nod for Constitution amendment bill

PTI | Kathmandu |

Nepal's Supreme Court on Monday said the Constitution amendment bill registered in the Legislative-Parliament should move ahead as it is a matter of Parliamentary supremacy.

Responding to a writ petition against the Constitution amendment bill in Parliament, the apex court said: "Judiciary could not bar the Legislative from using its wisdom in the formulation of legislation, on the basis of the principle of separation of powers."

In order to address the demands and grievances of Madhes-based political parties, the Nepal government registered the Constitution amendment bill in Parliament on November 29. 

Issues like change in demarcation of provinces, citizenship, language and making the Constitution more inclusive are incorporated in the proposed amendment that the Madhes-based parties have cautiously welcomed.

After the bill was registered in Legislative-Parliament Secretariat, a case was filed in the Supreme Court challenging that move as "anti-constitutional".

A division bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki and Justice Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada gave its ruling on it on Monday.

Nepal's main opposition Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist — CPN-UML — has been obstructing the house proceedings for over a month against the bill's registration. 

With the Supreme Court ruling, the main opposition would be under pressure to remove the house obstruction. 

"It is also not a wise move to intervene against the proposed bill… there is no need to issue show cause notice against the government to stop proceeding the debate over Constitution amendment bill," said the Supreme Court.

According to the theory of separation of powers and objectively, Parliament holds right to formulate the bills, said the court.

The petitioners had argued that the revision of provincial boundaries can happen only with the consent of the concerned provincial assembly, and cannot be done by the present Parliament alone. 

The government has not formed a commission to revise the provincial boundaries as provided for under the constitutional provision.