Supreme Court issues interlocutory interim order not to implement the decision against four Lumbini Provincial Assembly lawmakersJanata Samajbadi Party had expelled them after they joined the provincial government despite the party’s directive to vote for a no-confidence motion. The Shankar Pokhrel government now has a majority in the assembly.
The Supreme Court has issued an interlocutory interim order in the name of the Speaker of the Lumbini Provincial Assembly not to implement the decision to strip the four members of the assembly representing the Janata Samajbadi Party of their posts.
Hearing the joint writ petition of the four ministers filed on Sunday a single bench of Justice Nahakul Subedi issued the interlocutory interim order.
“Since the action was taken without following the legal procedure this interlocutory interim order has been issued until the decision whether to issue an interim order is taken,” states the Supreme Court’s order issued after a preliminary hearing on Monday.
The court has also called both the parties for discussions on May 30.
Four ministers of Lumbini Province, who were suspended by their Janata Samajbadi Party, had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court challenging the party's decision to suspend them from the party as the result of which they had lost their positions as the members of the Provincial Assembly.
In their joint writ petition, they had made Speaker of the Lumbini Province Assembly, Chair of Janata Samajbadi Party Upendra Yadav and Parliamentary Party leader of the party in the Provincial Assembly Sahas Ram Yadav as defendants.
With this apex court’s decision, and the four remaining as provincial lawmakers for the time being the Shankar Pokhrel-led government will have a comfortable majority.
On May 2, Pokhrel resigned as the chief minister in the morning after he was certain to lose the no-confidence motion with four of the Janata Samajbadi Party losing their positions but later in the same evening he was appointed chief minister again despite the opposition parties having a majority in the Provincial Assembly.
He was appointed chief minister as per the article 168 (1) but with one of the assembly members—Dug Narayan Pandey—resigning to join Nepali Congress and the other Bimala Khatri joining Maoist Centre he was left with only 39 members on his side in the then 81-member assembly.
But with four assembly members reinstated Pokhrel will now have 43 members in the existing strength of the 85-member assembly.
On April 19, 41 members of the Provincial Assembly–19 of the Nepali Congress, 17 of the Maoist Centre and five Janata Samajbadi Party–had registered a no-confidence motion against Pokhrel, proposing Maoist Centre leader Kul Bahadur KC as the next chief minister. But hours after the motion was registered, four among the six members of the Janata Samajbadi Party had joined Pokhrel’s cabinet including three of those who had signed for the no-confidence motion— Santosh Pandey, Bijay Yadav and Suman Sharma.
The Parliamentary Party of Provincial Assembly of the Janata Samajbadi Party had then decided to suspend them for joining the Shankar Pokhrel-led Cabinet.
Ministers Yadav, Pandey, Sharma and provincial lawmaker Kalpana Pandey had filed the writ petition at the Supreme Court four days after they were suspended on April 28 but the writ was registered only on Sunday.
They had argued that the decision of their suspension was illegal because they were not allowed to provide any clarification.