Hearing on writ against Agni Sapkota stalled as the case was assigned to Judge PhuyalPhuyal in the past, when he was a practicing lawyer, had argued against Sapkota.
Tika R Pradhan
The Supreme Court on Sunday could not conduct a hearing on a writ filed against Agni Sapkota’s nomination for House Speaker.
The case was assigned to a single bench of Judge Hari Phuyal.
Experts on legal proceedings and officials said that the hearing was deferred because Phuyal in 2011, when he was a practicing lawyer, had argued against Sapkota.
Bhadrakali Pokhrel, the spokesperson for the Supreme Court, told the Post that the case now will be assigned to any other bench.
“As per the Supreme Court tradition and practice, once a judge cannot hear a certain case for any reason, the case is assigned to another judge, usually scheduling it for the very next day,” said Pokhrel.
Advocate Dinesh Tripathi on Friday had filed the writ at the Supreme Court, demanding an immediate arrest of Sapkota, dismissing his nomination as Speaker and stalling the Speaker election process.
The court had scheduled a hearing on the writ for Sunday, the day scheduled for Speaker election in the House of Representatives.
As per the House schedule, Subash Chandra Nembang, deputy parliamentary party leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, will table a proposal for electing Sapkota as Speaker. Ruling party Chief Whip Dev Prasad Gurung, Rastriya Janata Party Chief Whip Laxman Lal Karna and Onsari Gharti, a ruling party lawmaker, will second the proposal.
Since the Nepali Congress and Samajbadi Party, two other parties in the federal Parliament, have not fielded any candidate against Sapkota, he is set to become Speaker unopposed.
Sunday’s House meeting is scheduled for 3pm.
Rights defenders, conflict victims and the international community have taken exception to the ruling party’s move of nominating Sapkota as Speaker, saying he is accused of a war-era killing.
A case against Sapkota for the abduction and murder of Arjun Lama is pending at the Supreme Court.