Court clears way for RSP’s Kansakar to become lawmaker in place of ShresthaDhaka Kumar Shrestha had moved the court against his party’s decision to sack him.
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the appointment of Bindabasini Kansakar as a member of the House of Representatives, replacing Dhaka Kumar Shrestha.
A division bench of justices Kumar Regmi and Nahakul Subedi, on Wednesday, refused to issue an interim order in Shrestha’s writ petition against the Rastriya Swatantra Party’s decision to strip him of the lawmaker position. Shrestha had demanded scrapping of the party’s move, arguing that the decision to expel him was illegal.
“As necessary decisions on the petitioner's demand will be made in the final decision, it is not necessary to issue an interim order on the petition,” the apex court said in its ruling.
Kansakar will now become a lawmaker after being administered the oath by the Speaker.
The fourth-largest party in Parliament had on April 12 expelled Shrestha from the party after a leaked audio featuring a voice, allegedly Shrestha’s, could be heard demanding Rs 20 million from the controversial medical entrepreneur Durga Prasai, so that Shrestha could become health minister in the federal government. Prasai is the owner of the Birtamod-based B & C Medical College and Teaching Hospital.
The party subsequently decided to nominate Kansakar to replace Shrestha. Nearly two weeks after its recommendation, Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire on April 25 announced in the House that Shrestha was no longer a member of the lower house starting April 25.
However, Shrestha challenged the decision in the Supreme Court before Kansakar assumed her office. On May 8, the court, issuing an interlocutory interim order, directed the authorities not to implement the decision of the Rastriya Swatantra Party to make Kansakar a member of the House of Representatives.
The single judge bench of Justice Til Prasad Shrestha took that decision following which the Supreme Court listened to both sides before deciding not to issue the interim order.
Shrestha became a member of the lower house of parliament under the proportional representation system in the Janajati quota. He allegedly asked for money from the controversial businessman, saying the party had decided to pick him as a minister for health and population and he needed the money to pay the party in exchange for the position. He promised to support medical entrepreneur Prasai when he would become the health minister.
Though his party joined the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government, Shrestha couldn’t become a minister.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority has been investigating the matter. A complaint was lodged with the constitutional anti-graft watchdog, demanding an investigation into the alleged attempt by the Shrestha to ‘buy’ for himself the post of health minister.
Shrestha has been living a controversial life for a long time.
Shrestha was running a hospital in Pokhara, although he had acquired a licence to operate only a medical store. He also used to run the Sathi Kisan Krishi Cooperative Limited, which has courted controversy for refusing to return the money of its depositors, for months. Shrestha had left the organisation last year, handing over its leadership to one Shani Pathak. But the new leadership of the cooperative could not start working as the previous leadership had reportedly failed to maintain proper books of account.