Petition filed at Supreme Court to annul oath of Foreign Minister KhadkaThe petitioner has argued an oath is not possible without a federal law as provisioned by Article 80 of the constitution, and the stopgap measure of an ordinance is no longer valid.
A petition has been filed at the Supreme Court demanding that the oath of the Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka should be scrapped, it was administered without any legal basis.
On September 22, President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to Foreign Minister Khadka.
“A petition has been registered at the Supreme Court which demands that the oath of the foreign minister should be scrapped,” said Baburam Dahal, spokesperson for the Supreme Court.
Advocate Bishal Neupane filed the petition claiming that the oath taken without any legal basis should be annulled until the legal provision is put in place.
He has cited Article 80 of the constitution which states that the prime minister, deputy prime minister and ministers shall take the oath of office and secrecy before the President, and ministers of state and assistant ministers should take the oath and secrecy before the prime minister, as provided for in the federal law, prior to assuming their respective offices.
However, currently there is no law related to the oath of the prime minister, deputy prime minister and ministers.
An ordinance related to oath was one of the 14 ordinances that ceased to exist on the midnight of September 15 after they exceeded 60 days since they were registered in the House of Representatives.
With the annulment of that ordinance, there is no law regarding the oath taking.
The other way to ensure a law on oath taking was introduction of a bill in the Parliament.
“Since the oath of Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka was administered without any legal basis as the constitution has stated ‘as per the federal law’, the oath [taken by the foreign minister] is unconstitutional and it must be scrapped,” advocate Neupane has said in his petition. “The oath should be taken as per the new law after the government brings one.”
According to Neupane, a hearing on his petition has been allocated for Wednesday.
If the Supreme Court annuls the oath of Foreign Minister Khadka on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s plan to give his Council of Ministers a full shape within a few days could be affected.
After repealing the ordinance brought to amend some provisions of Political Parties Act 2017 on Tuesday, Prime Minister Deuba has been preparing to expand his Cabinet by inducting ministers from coalition partners–the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajbadi Party.
A court order to scrap Khadka’s oath would mean there will be no meaning of appointing ministers, as without taking the oath, they cannot assume their respective offices, as per the constitutional provision.
According to officials of the Federal Parliament Secretariat, it takes at least a month to become a law.