Legal eagles: Govt can revise paperLegal experts invited by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday to discuss a report submitted by the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) have said that the government “can” make changes “if need be”.
Legal experts invited by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday to discuss a report submitted by the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) have said that the government “can” make changes “if need be”.
The expert advice to the PM is in contrast to what LLRC officials have long been saying—that the government “cannot” tweak the report as it has been prepared by a constitutional body and that any such move would undermine the constitutional provision.
PM Dahal on Wednesday morning held consultations with Attorney General Ram Kumar Shrestha, Nepal Bar Association Chairman Sher Bahadur KC and Advocate Dipendra Jha among others.
The legal experts were of the view that since the authority to fix the terms of reference (ToR) lies with the government, it also holds the right to revise the report, if need be.
PM Dahal’s consultation with legal experts follows intense pressure from the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) to revise the report.
The SLMM, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, has objected to the report. The Madhes-based parties had not allowed the LLRC’s technical committees to work in the districts of Province 2. The commission had then finalised the report after consulting other parties. The LLRC had submitted its report to PM Dahal on January 6.
After sitting on the report for about three weeks, a Cabinet meeting on January 27 decided to take the report to political parties for discussion before implementing it.
According to Advocate Jha, the LLRC had flouted its ToR as it had restructured local units of Province 2 without consulting the Madhes-based parties. Hence the government can revise the report, he said. “Or it should ask the LLRC itself to do the revision as per its working guidelines.”
The LLRC has recommended 719 local units (village and municipal councils) across the country in the federal set-up. But commission officials have warned against revision of the report, saying such a move will be uncon-stitutional.
“If the government makes changes to the report, the issue may land in the Supreme Court,” a member of the LLRC said seeking anonymity.
Implementation of LLRC recommendations is a must to hold local level elections, which the government is planning for mid-May.
The Election Commission has said that election related laws and implementation of the LLRC report are a must 100 days prior to the elections.