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Constitution has not envisioned constitutional bench in absence of CJ: Supreme Court

KATHMANDU:- The Supreme Court (SC) has furnished its written response in regard to the presence of Chief Justice (CJ) in the Constitutional Bench stating that the Constitution of Nepal has not envision formation of the Constitutional Bench in absence of the CJ.
SC’s Registrar Narayan Prasad Panthi on Monday furnished the written response on behalf of the SC.
In a writ petition filed whether there will be the presence of the CJ in the Constitutional Bench, a single bench of Justice Hari Prasad Phuyal on September 2 had issued an interim order to not immediately proceed the hearing on dispute regarding constitutional council ordinance.
The SC had given the interim order not to hold hearing on ordinance until the dispute was settled over the ordinance.
“As per the Article 137 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal, the Constitutional Bench shall consist of the Chief Justice and other four Judges designated by the Chief Justice on recommendation of the Judicial Council. And this refers to compulsory presence of four other Judges in addition to the Chief Justice. The constitution has not envisioned Constitutional Bench without the Chief Justice,” the SC’s written response stated.
Questions were raised that the CJ should not hear the case of dispute regarding the appointments of the constitutional council arguing that the appointments were made from the constitutional council meeting attended by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR.
The CJ had announced he would not remain in the Constitutional Bench after the repeated concerns from the legal practitioners.
The dispute is under sub-judice in the Constitutional Bench.

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