KATHMANDU: In a major blow to the Chief Justice led government run by retired bureaucrats, the Supreme Court (SC) has issued an interim order against the agreement with India to allow the latter to upgrade the immigration system at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and to set up Indian immigration check points at Lumbini and Pashupatinagar.
A Home Secretary-level meeting between the two countries last month had reached signed the agreement regarding upgradation of the immigration system at the country’s only international airport in the Capital and set up Indian immigration offices at the two bordering cities.
Acting upon a writ petition filed by Advocate Shree Prasad Pandit, a single bench of Justice Tarka Raj Bhatta ordered the government not to proceed with points No. 21 and 25 of the ´Agreed Minutes of the Meeting between the Home Secretaries of Nepal and India´ until the apex court´s final verdict.
Justice Bhatta also ordered the defendants to furnish clarifications in writing within 15 days on the bilateral agreement and as to why the court should not issue an order as demanded by the writ petitioner.
Pandit has maintained that points No. 21 and 25 of the agreement are not in the interest of the country. The petitioner has further argued that setting up of immigration checkpoints by any foreign country in the territory of a sovereign country means an attack on its sovereign existence. The petitioner has further claimed that points 21 and 25 are against Article 156 of the Interim Constitution.
The SC order comes on the eve of a visit by Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid to Nepal. He is arriving in Kathmandu Tuesday morning.
The Office of the Prime Minister, the minister for home affairs and his ministry, the minister for foreign affairs and his ministry and the secretary at the home ministry are named as defendants in the writ petition.
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