June 22: The Supreme Court has stayed the decision of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint 20 new ministers in the cabinet after the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
In response to writ petitions filed by half a dozen advocates, a division bench of Supreme Court justices headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today (June 22) issued an interim order against the recent appointments of deputy prime ministers, ministers and state ministers.
Earlier on June 4 and June 27, President Bhandari, upon the recommendation of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, had inducted new deputy prime ministers, ministers and state ministers in the cabinet.
The cabinet expansions came after the dissolution of the House of Representatives and announcement of mid-term elections in November.
Upon the recommendation of the cabinet, President Bhandari had dissolved the House on May 22. The decision to dissolve the lower house and announcement of the mid-term polls are currently subjudice in the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court.
With the Supreme Court’s interim order, 20 ministers including two deputy prime ministers in the Oli-led cabinet will lose their posts.
In its interim order, the Supreme Court has barred all of them to serve in the capacity of deputy prime ministers, ministers and state ministers until the case is settled. The order states that the additional appointments for cabinet expansions were against the spirit of the constitution.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel along with three other ministers who were the members of the lower house before its dissolution will continue to serve as members of the Oli-led cabinet. The other three who will continue to serve as ministers are Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Basant Kumar Nembwang and Lilanath Shrestha.
The ministers who lost their posts are as follows:
1- Raghubir Mahaseth, Deputy Prime and Minister for Foreign Affairs
2- Rajendra Mahato, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Urban Development
3- Khaga Raj Adhikari, Minister for Home Affairs
4- Sharat Singh Bhandari, Minister for Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation
5- Anil Kumar Jha, Minister for Water Supply
6- Sher Bahadur Tamang, Minister for Health and Population
7- Rajkishor Yadav, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies
8- Laxman Lal Karna, Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation
9- Nainkala Thapa, Minister for Communication and Information Technology
10- Jwala Kumari Shah, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development
11- Bimal Prasad Shrivastav, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security
12- Uma Shankar Aragriya, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation
13- Chanda Chaudhary, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen
14- Ekbal Miya, Minister for Youth and Sports
15- Narad Muni Rana, Minister for Forest and Environment
16- Ganesh Kumar Pahadi, Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration
17- Mohan Baniya, Minister for the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers
18- Chandra Kanta Chaudhary, State Minister for Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation
19- Renuka Gurung, State Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen
20- Asha Kumari B K, State Minister for Forest and Environment