Nominate 26 CA members within 15 days‚ says apex court

Tells govt authorities to select individuals from various fields and all walks of life

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today directed the government authorities to appoint 26 Constituent Assembly members within 15 days.

The 601-member CA is yet to get 26 members, to be nominated by the Cabinet, to acquire a full shape even after almost six months since the CA elections.

A division bench of Justices Ram Kumar Prasad Shah and Kalyan Shrestha issued the mandamus order to authorities — the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly and the CA Secretariat — not to delay the appointment process.

Observing that all the activities performed by the CA without getting full shape could be unconstitutional, the bench stated that the authorities should not delay the process of nominating the 26 members as envisioned by Article 63(3)(C) of the Interim Constitution.

The bench has also directed the authorities to take a prompt decision and nominate 26 members objectively and honestly and make sure that proper reasoning is given while nominating the individuals.

The bench has also asked the authorities not to indulge in power sharing while nominating the CA members because ‘the move is related to constitution drafting and lack of expertise could hamper the whole process’. “The members selected under nominated category have a special and significant duty of working as experts,” it observed.

The apex court has directed the authorities not to nominate the members from among those who were rejected in both the election systems — first-past-the-post or proportional representation — and asked them to choose individuals from among those who could not be represented in the CA and those who have made outstanding contribution to country.

Stating that the nature of the nomination of 26 members is quite different, the apex court has drawn the attention of the CA Secretariat to give separate offices to them and let them work independently as per their wisdom.

The apex court passed the order today in response to a writ petition filed by Dalit Janajati Party Chairman Bishendra Paswan, who is also a CA member, on January 8.

Paswan had sought apex court intervention, saying that the 26 members should not be selected from among active politicians.

Hammering the message home

• Experts from different streams — history, culture, arts, literature, law, industry, commerce, economics, information, civil society, education, social service, administration, entertainment, sports and mountaineering — should be selected as CA members

• Those should be selected who have made outstanding contribution to the country through their works and behaviour, and political forces should not undermine their importance

• These individuals must be allowed to work independently and they need not take membership of any political party or organisation. They should be allowed to express their independent views during the process of drafting of the constitution

• Politicisation of nomination process will be against the spirit of the Interim Constitution and the Cabinet must respect that spirit

Source: thehimalayantimes