Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, who has been named a defendant in a case filed by Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota, challenging the appointments to the constitutional bodies after the Constitutional Council Act was amended through an ordinance, furnished his written response to the Supreme Court.
Rana said since the nominations made by the Constitutional Council on December 15 were valid, the writ petition should be quashed. Rana refuted the speaker’s argument about the Constitutional Council failing to achieve the quorum on December 15 when office bearers for the constitutional bodies were nominated, saying the Council achieved the quorum for its meeting that day as the ordinance amending the Constitutional Council Act stipulated that the quorum would be met if majority of the existing office bearers (three out of five) were present. On December 15, the CC meeting attended by the then PM KP Sharma Oli, chair of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, and Rana had made recommendations for appointment to various constitutional bodies. Rana argued since three office bearers unanimously decided to recommend names for constitutional bodies, the decision was valid. Section 6 of the Constitutional Council Act stipulated that a quorum for the Constitutional Council shall be met if the chairperson of the council (prime minister) and five other members of the council were present. This provision was changed through the ordinance on December 15 that stipulated that quorum shall be met if majority members of the existing office bearers of the Constitutional Council, including the chairperson (PM), were present. An ordinance is applicable as a law unless it is quashed by the court or rescinded by the president, CJ Rana said. He said that an ordinance ceases to be valid if rejected by the Parliament.