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Nepal Supreme Court quashes appointment of 20 ministers

Oli Had Inducted The Ministers In Two Different Cabinet Expansions After The Government Became A Caretaker One Following May 21 House Dissolution. Https://tkpo.st/3zOtBm4

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated two Cabinet expansions by KP Sharma Oli after the dissolution of the House of Representatives on May 21, relieving 20 ministers of their responsibilities.

Oli had expanded his Cabinet twice since the May 21 House dissolution– on June 4 and June 10 –inducting 17 ministers. Three state ministers were also appointed–two on June 4 and one on June 10.

Responding to a petition filed by six individuals, including senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi, a division bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Prakash Kumar Dhungana said on Tuesday that Cabinet expansions after the dissolution of the House were unconstitutional; hence the ministers cannot discharge their duties.

“The Supreme Court has issued an interim order asking not to allow the ministers appointed after the House dissolution to function,” said senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi, one of the six writ petitioners.

Oli on June 4 appointed 12 ministers including 10 from the Mahanta Thakur-Rajendra Mahato faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party. Of them two were state ministers. A week later, Oli appointed eight more ministers including one state minister.

Six different petitions were filed at the Supreme Court demanding that the Cabinet expansions by a caretaker government be quashed.

Senior advocate Tripathi, and advocates Raj Kumar Suwal, Shalikram Sapkota, Kanchan Krishna Neupane, Birendra Prasad Sah and Sitadevi Shrestha had filed the writs on June 7.

The Supreme Court has cited Article 77 (3) in its ruling to quash the appointments. The article states if the Office of the Prime Minister falls vacant after the prime minister fails to win a vote of confidence or resigns, the same Council of Ministers shall continue to act until another Council of Ministers is constituted.

With the court order, there are only five ministers left in Oli’s Cabinet, including Oli himself.