Wednesday, January 04, 2006

SC likely to issue verdict on RCCC case on thursday.

Kathmandu, Jan 4 -A five-member bench of justices of the Supreme Court, which was formed to test the constitutionality of the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), is likely to issue its verdict on the matter on Thursday, a high-ranking official of the Supreme Court told, The himalya times reports.

Pointing that some lawyers did not submit their written arguments before the bench in the stipulated time, another source at the Supreme Court, however, said the pronouncement of the verdict may get delayed.

Formed under Article 115 (7) of the Constitution following the February 1 royal takeover, the term of the RCCC was extended under Article 127 after the lifting of the emergency.

The bench will decide whether the formation of the RCCC was constitutional or not.Former attorney-general, Pawan Kumar Ojha, who has been recently appointed as the ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court, senior government attorneys and government-hired advocates have claimed that the King has the authority to issue any order for the formation of such an institution. Senior advocate Laxmi Bahadur Nirala, who pleaded on behalf of the RCCC, has recently been appointed as the attorney-general.

Citing that emergency had been lifted, defence lawyers had argued that the continuation of the RCCC under Article 127 was against the spirit of the 1990 Constitution. Senior advocates Basudev Dhungana, Radheshyam Adhikary, Bishwo Kanta Mainali, the NBA president, Shambhu Thapa, and advocates Harihar Dahal, Subash Nembang, Purna Man Shakya had pleaded for the dissolution of the royal anti-corruption body.Claiming that the RCCC was formed without the recommendation of the Cabinet as required by Article 35(2) of the Constitution, the lawyers had stated that the King had curtailed the authorities of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) against the spirit of the statute and transferred its authorities to the RCCC. They had said that the King has no authority to curtail power of any constitutional body and transfer it to other institution. Seeking the dissolution of the body, Santosh Kumar, an advocate, filed a petition at the Supreme Court.

The special bench comprising justices Kedar Prasad Giri, Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Ram Nagina Singh, Anup Raj Sharma and Ram Prasad Shrestha has been making preparations to issue the verdict on the matter.

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