KATHMANDU: In absence of parliament, the government is busy ruling the country through ordinance. Even though this is the only way to rule the nation at dissolution or recess of parliament, the misuse of issuance of ordinance and frequent issuance of ordinance may make the government autocratic. As per the Interim Constitution (IC), ordinance can be issued to fulfil the gap of any law if needed immediately and cannot wait for the parliament.
The government is trying to bring the budget through ordinance and to issue ordinances — anti-money laundering ordinances, extradition and mutual co-operation and control the investment in organised crime — but the opposition parties have been differing with the government. Since the IC insists on political consensus for every state affair, the opposition parties’ disapproval seems genuine, so it is now relevant to discuss the jurisprudential behind issuing an ordinance. The day-to-day affairs of the government cannot remain in vacuum, therefore, it is significant and important to issue ordinances but only those which do not violate and ignore the universally accepted principles of justice.
As per Article 88 (1) of the IC, if at any time, except when the session or meeting of the Legislature-Parliament is not in recess, when the president believes that it is necessary to take immediate action, may, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, promulgate any ordinance as required without prejudice to the provisions set forth in the Constitution.
Such an ordinance shall be laid before the meeting of the parliament held after the promulgation, and if not passed by such meeting, it shall ipso facto cease to be effective; which may be repealed at any time by the president; and which shall, unless rendered ineffective or repealed ipso facto, cease to have effect at the expiration of 60 days from holding the meeting of the parliament.
Before taking any decision, the government must rethink how and why the royal regime was unpopular when it ruled the
nation through ordinance. The constitutional provision of the country also gives the authority to the government to issue ordinance if required but misuse of which will definitely make the government a tyrant.
“It is the universally accepted principle that the government can issue ordinance in the recess of parliament, so it is also obvious in relation to our government as well,” Constitutional Law Expert Dr Chandra Kanta Gyawali told THT Perspectives. “And since the government does not have that right since the IC has emphasised political consensus for state affairs, it must seek support from the parties while doing so,” Gyawali added.