Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Nembang said on Saturday that the constitution drafting process will move ahead unhindered and the people would get their constitution as soon as possible.
Nembang, refraining from commenting on the Supreme Court’s interim order on the implementation of the 16-point agreement on the contentious issues of the new constitution, said: “I want to fully assure the people that the country will get the constitution on the stipulated time.”
He told the Post that he had not read the full text of the order so he could not comment more on it right away.
A high-level source at Parliament Secretariat said Nembang expressed his displeasure at the SC ruling and has ordered the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) not to stop the process of preparing the preliminary draft of the constitution.
A taskforce led by CDC Chairman Krishna Prasad Sitaula is preparing the first draft of the new statute. The CA has entrusted the committee to come up with the draft by the end of this month.
However, some issues remain unresolved. The court on Friday stated that it would be against the constitutional provisions to form a commission for the purpose of settling disputes on the demarcation of federal units.
Leaders and officials at the CA Secretariat said the apex court ruling violates the principle of the separation of powers and it had tried to encroach on the jurisdiction of the sovereign CA.
Ramesh Lekhak, a member of the taskforce, said that despite the stay order the task of drafting the constitution was going ahead smoothly. “We are working even on Saturday to prepare the draft, which is a clear message that the stay order has not affected the CA business,” he said. “A day after the order, we are busy with the draft. This is a symbolic message.”
The taskforce is busy preparing an integrated draft on the basis of the reports submitted by the five subcommittees formed to prepare sector-wise drafts of the constitution. The taskforce plans to discuss some disputed issues such as pluralism, reappointment of the chief justice and the structure of the local bodies with top party leaders.
Meanwhile, Sadbhawana Party boycotted the meeting of the Drafting Committee on Saturday. Lawmaker Narsingh Chaudhary had demanded a halt in the process as per the court order. Committee Chairman Sitaula, however, issued a ruling to carry forward the drafting task.
‘Avoid conflict among state organs’
President Ram Baran Yadav on Saturday urged the parties to avoid possible conflict between the judiciary, the executive and Parliament after the Supreme Court stay on the 16-point cross-party deal.
The head of state also underlined the need for better coordination among the three state organs, urging them to refrain from activities that would escalate the conflict. Yadav made such remarks during a meeting with UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday.
The President reportedly also urged Dahal to accommodate the Madhes-based parties in the constitution drafting process.
“Parties have no intention of attacking on the dignity of court. We have already decided to file a review petition asking the apex court to correct its stay,” Dahal said after the meeting.