KATHMANDU: By resuming facilities to former bigwigs through ordinance, which was discontinued by the Supreme Court (SC) just four months ago, the government yet again shows ill-intention over the state coffer. Through this ordinance, it has proposed providing facilities to retired presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers, chief justices and speakers, among others.
The facilities might be well-deserved in some cases, but no matter how much the state spends on providing perks and facilities to the deserving bigwigs, it is a matter of grave concern as to why the
government issued the ordinance at a time when the parliament still exists? It is shameful that the government brought the ordinance to spend public taxes when law-makers have so far been enjoying perks without working.
This is a model example of how the government escapes the law. By this ordinance, the government violates the no tax-ation without represent-ation theory. How can a government spend the state treasury without legal mandate? Constitutionally speaking, the president may issue any ordinance on the recommendation of the cabinet only if they need to do something urgently or if the parliament is in recess. As per Article 88(1) of the Interim Constitution, the ordinance has the same effect as that of a legislative law but does not reflect the popular will and therefore needs to be endorsed by the parliament.
Ideally such an ordinance should be laid before the parliament after its promulgation, and if not passed by the parliament, it shall ipso facto cease to be effective within 60 days of issuance.
The bench stated that the decision of the cabinet passed on December 13, 2004 to distribute the facilities to the former bigwigs without legis-lative law could not get legitimacy in democracy. The SC held that the distribution contradicted with Article 32 of the constitution. Distributing such facilities from the state coffer in such a manner is not only against the SC verdict issued on December 8 — which had directed the government to promulgate a legislative law — but the ordinance neither reflects the wisdom of the people nor the spirit of constitution.
Unquestionably, the former bigwigs would need security and fuel assistance before and during election campaigns. But the problem lies in the way the government chooses to distribute the facilities. It is quite unfair because it is only intended to benefit the recipients and not the public.
“I am always in favour of promulgating laws through the parliament but issuing ordinance while the parliament is still functioning is unfortunate,” Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang told THT Perspectives. “It undermines the parliament’s role by promulgating ordinance in such a way,” Nembang added.