KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) issued a ruling on Thursday, mandating the formation of a new government in Koshi Province.
The court declared the appointment of Uddhav Thapa as the Chief Minister of Koshi Province null and void.
A full bench of Justices Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai, and Til Prasad Shrestha invalidated the appointment of Chief Minister Thapa.
The SC deemed the act of the Speaker of the Province Assembly signing in favor of appointing the Chief Minister unconstitutional.
“According to constitutional jurisprudence and ethical principles, the position of the Speaker must remain impartial. Thus, any support provided by the Speaker that displays favoritism towards a particular party cannot be deemed in alignment with the Constitution,” stated the SC.
The Supreme Court has granted a seven-day timeframe for two or more parties to come together and establish a government in Koshi.
In the event that the government cannot be formed through this process, the Court has directed the formation of a provincial government in accordance with Article 168 of the Constitution.
Outgoing chief minister and CPN-UML parliamentary party leader for Koshi province Hikmat Kumar Karki had filed a petition at the Supreme Court on Friday stating that province chief Parshuram Khapung had appointed Uddhav Thapa of Nepali Congress as the chief minister in an unconstitutional manner.
Nepali Congress (NC) parliamentary party leader Uddhav Thapa was appointed the new chief minister of Koshi province on July 6 with the support of 47 lawmakers from the ruling coalition -29 from NC, 13 including Koshi provincial assembly Speaker Gautam from Maoist Centre, four from Unified Socialist and one from Janata Samajwadi Party.
UML had then moved the SC against the government formation saying it was against the Constitution for the Speaker to support a claim for the post of chief minister.
Karki had demanded that Thapa’s appointment be revoked through a certiorari order, arguing that the appointment made as per Article 168 (2) of the Constitutional was illegitimate.
He had also demanded a mandamus to pave the way for his appointment as chief minister in accordance with Article 168 (3) of the Constitution.
A single bench of Justice Sapana Malla Pradhan had, on July 12, issued an interim order to Koshi’s chief minister Uddhav Thapa to not take any decision that could have a long-term impact until the case was decided.