ANANTA RAJ LUITEL
KATHMANDU: A former Chief Justice today said he was in favour of extending the tenure of the Constituent Assembly once again if the sovereign body fails to deliver a constitution within the deadline set by the country’s highest court.
Former Chief Justice Anup Raj Sharma said the Supreme Court had erred by deciding on the tenure of the statute-making body as it was not its job to settle such issues of political nature.
Sharma’s remarks, aired by a local TV station yesterday, comes at a time when a few political leaders have been seeking an extension for CA for a ‘short period’ to help promulgate the constitution. However, as May 27, the day the tenure of CA is set to end, draws near, leaders are yet to reach consensus on several key issues.
The constitution making power rests with the CA and the apex court should not have had interfered, he said talking to The Himalayan Times today. “The apex court should have practised self-restraint on such issues,” added Sharma. On November 25 last year, the apex court had declared that the CA would be dissolved on May 27 even if it fails to deliver a constitution. It also gave three alternatives to extending the tenure of the CA — a referendum, fresh mandate for the CA or any measure prescribed in the Interim Constitution. “The Supreme Court’s November 25 has unnecessarily interfered with a political question. Therefore, it need not be followed,” the former justice said. “I am free to make my remarks public as a citizen. I am also worried about the future of the country,” he explained.
On March 29, the apex court also turned down petitions filed by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang seeking a review of the verdict on CA extension.
“All efforts put in by the Nepali people to form the CA and prepare a constitution would go in vain even if the CA’s term expires without promulgating a constitution,”Sharma noted.
“I do not want to dwell on a May 28 without a constitution or Constituent Assembly. Constitution writing is a political task. It must be resolved politically.”