Nepal Today

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CRUCIAL NC, UML MEETS RESUME Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Main opposition NC central committee resumes Wednesday. Top three leaders President Sushil Koirala, Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba came under fire on the first day’s meet from committee members for their role pushing formation of an election government headed by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi. Regmi has been dragged into controversy even before taking up the offer to lead a government to conduct constituent assembly elections for the second time 5 June. Majority members oppose efforts to install Regmi to the top executive jus without resignation as head of judiciary. The UML standing committee meet also resumes Wednesday. Deep differences over the proposed Regmi government has divided the second opposition party as well. A faction led by Chairman Jhalanath Khanal supports efforts to appoint Regmi while another group led by former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal opposes the move. nnnn TWO KILLED IN ITAHARI BUS ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Two persons were killed Wednesday in a bus accident at Itahari in Sunsari. The dead are yet to be identified. Nnnn CAMPUS TURNS INTO BATTLEFIELD Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Sanothimi Campus has turned to a battlefield when scuffle between two sides students´ organizations ensued in regard to the matter of marking sports week taking place in the campus from Thursday, RSS reports from Bhaktapur.. As many as 12 students leaders and cadres from both the sides were injured after a dispute between the groups led by ANNISU (Revolutionary) and Nepal Students´ Union and ANNFSU took a nasty turn. The students groups were divided over the issue related to the Martyrs Weekly Sports-2069, which the Free Students´ Union of the Campus is organizing from February 28 to March 6, 2013. The dispute emerged when ANNISU and Campus claimed that the FSU will solely organize the sports event whereas NSU and ANNFSU stood for organizing the event on joint venture of students´ organizations. The dispute that surfaced at 7.30 am turned to a scuffle at 7.45 this morning, said the students unions. ANNFSU central member Santosh Khadka said the student leaders and cadres of NSU and ANNFSU were wounded in the attack by ANNISU (R) activists this morning. He also accused the ANNISU (R) activists entered the classrooms and assaulted on students on the basis of their ideology. The ANNISU (R) cadres equipped with baton, iron rod and sharp weapons bounced on innocent cadres of NSU and ANNFSU in course of the talks being held with them, said Bikas Thapa of NSU. Thapa accused the police of being mute spectator when the weapon-studded activists of ANNISU (R) brazenly assaulted on NSU and ANNFSU activists in a ruthless manner. The injured including Khadka of ANNFSU and Satish Shrestha of NSU are being treated in nagarik Hospital in Gaththaghar, Thapa told media. On the other, ANNISU-R central member Subas Dhakal said both the sides engaged in a brawl when NSU and ANNFSU cadres opted to disrupt the weeklong sports events organized by FSU. Security personnel have been mobilized in the campus premises to avert any untoward incidents in the campus. Nnnn CAPITAL MORNING TEMPERATURE WEDNESDAY 8.1 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 26 Feb.: Capital’s Wednesday morning temperature at seven I the morning was 8.1 degrees Celsius. Mercury on a clear afternoon is expected to rise to 26 degrees Celsius. nnnn MARTYRS MEMORIAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP RESUMING Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Martyrs Memorial A Division League Championship resumes in the capital 8 March after a halt25 January. m ANFA said. Eight teams have qualified after a round robin league. Three Star led the league and will play Nepal Police Club on the opening day. nnnn CJ HAS NO MORAL BASIS TO CONTINUE SAYS NBA Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Taking strong exception to the decision of Chief Justice (CJ) Khil Raj Regmi to lead an election government, Nepal Bar Association (NBA), the umbrella organization of lawyers across the country, has said that following his move the CJ does not have any moral basis for remaining in the Bench, Gani Ansari writes in Republica.. An emergency meeting of the NBA held in the capital on Tuesday concluded that given the statement of the chief justice to media that he has already accepted the offer of premiership, he should give up his responsibilities as head of the judiciary as continuing in that post would be against the code of conduct for judges. “It [the CJ´s agreeing to lead a new government] has raised a moral question over the CJ. So, he should not sit in the bench from now on,” NBA Vice-president Tikaram Bhattarai told Republica. NBA has maintained that it is determined to stick to its earlier stance that a sitting chief justice, while remaining in that capacity, cannot be the head of the executive also. “It will be against judicial norms and values if the head of the judiciary, whose fundamental responsibility is to carry out judicial reviews of the activities of other organs of the state, also holds the post of head of the executive,” reads the NBA statement issued after the NBA meeting. NBA has said the Interim Constitution has not envisaged assigning the chief justice to any task other than those related to judicial inquiry and in case the head of the judiciary is deputed to any such task there is no constitutional provision for him to return to his previous post of chief justice as that post is not like any post in the civil, military or administrative services. NBA has urged the apex court to clarify the grounds for Monday´s statement issued by the latter. Stating that it would have long-term impact on the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of law as the statement has dragged the apex court into political controversy, the NBA meeting also drew the attention of sitting justices regarding the statement. The SC, issuing a press statement on Monday, had said the chief justice was positive over the proposal for him to head a government in order to end the ongoing political and constitutional crisis, and he was not motivated by any personal ambition. “The judiciary of the country has stuck to the principle of separation of powers since its very establishment and Nepal is a party to various international conventions regarding the issue. So, the country cannot go against it and if it does go against it that will only invite a negative result for the independence and prestige of the judiciary,” the NBA statement further reads. NBA has stated that the meetings of the chief justice with political parties since a couple of days have ridiculed judicial norms and values and the independence of the judiciary. “The move is also against the code of conduct for judges,” reads the statement. NBA has expressed grave concern over the SC´s statement and the statement of the CJ in the media, and pointed out that this could also affect an issue that is sub-judice. The apex court on Sunday had sought written clarifications regarding the matter from the president´s office, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and his office and UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal by March 5. Following hearings on a writ petition filed by Advocate Bharat Mani Jangam at the SC, a single bench of Justice Sushila Karki had decided to forward the case to a special bench, stating that it was necessary to interpret several laws before issuing a final verdict. The next hearing on the petition will be held on March 7. However, NBA has made it clear that it is always ready to garner support for any solution that is found through political consensus and that remains within the parameters of the constitution, constitutionalism, judicial and democratic norms and values. Asked if NBA had softened its tone in comparison to earlier, a senior official said, “NBA has issued such a strong statement against a sitting chief justice for the first time in its history,” adding, “We would decide to go for protests but we have only expressed our objection in the first phase as we are a group that belongs to the intelligentia.” Besides incumbent NBA officials, NBA former presidents, general secretaries and Kathmandu Valley unit presidents were also present at the meeting. Nnnn NC DIVIDED OVER CJ-LED GOVT. Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: A majority of Central Working Committee (CWC) members of the Nepali Congress on Tuesday came down heavily on the party leadership for accepting the UCPN (Maoist) proposal to form an election government under the sitting chief justice, Republica reports. Addressing an informal CWC meeting held in Sanepa, disgruntled CWC members alleged that party leadership overstepped the mandate given them by the party´s CWC meeting. They maintained that the decision to accept CJ-led government was against the principle of separation of powers. Those speaking against the party´s decision were Sujata Koirala, Dr Shekhar Koirala, Purna Bahadur Khadka, Kamala Panta, NP Saud and Arjun Narsingh KC. However, CWC members Mahendra Yadav, Arjun Joshi, Aftab Aalam and Ramesh Rijal had defended the party´s decision arguing that it was the only way to oust the Baburam Bhattarai-led government and hold election at the earliest possible date. Addressing the meeting, top leaders, including party president Sushil Koirala, vice president Ram Chandra Paudel and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba had argued that they had not gone against the decision of the CWC meeting. They also argued that they had paid special attention to upholding the principle of separation of powers and asked middle-rung leaders not to speak against the party´s decision in public. Paudel said that they decided to accept the Maoist proposal to form CJ-led government as this was the only way to ensure timely election. “Formation of a new government and holding fresh election at the earliest are the main demands of NC. Since the proposal helps achieve both the goals, we decided to accept it,” Paudel told the meeting. Likewise, Deuba had defended the move saying there were no other alternative to oust Bhattarai-led government and hold fresh election. He also maintained that it was far better for NC to accept CJ-led government than to join the Bhattarai-led government. Disgruntled CWC members had argued that the decision would not only put the democracy in peril, but also threaten the existence of Nepal as a sovereign nation. They had also suggested to the party leadership to correct the decision, saying it was never late to correct rectify mistakes. Speaking on the occasion, Arjun Narasingh KC suggested to the party leadership to demand resignation of chief justice before he assumes the post of executive head of the country. “This will be a middle way to resolve the differences within the party,” he had argued. The informal CWC meeting of NC will continue Wednesday afternoon. Though the meeting will not change the party´s previous decision to accept CJ-led election government, there will be detailed discussions on the pros and cons of the decision. Nnnn


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