SC has interfered in govt's work: PM

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Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in his response to the writ petition filed by advocate Kapil Dev Dhakal on promotion of Jai Bahadur Chand to the post of IGP of Nepal Police has called appointment of IGP the government's jurisdiction and demanded annulment of the petition.

The Supreme Court (SC) has scheduled the hearing on the case for March 16.

The written response of PM Dahal also points that advocate Dhakal, who filed preemptive petition two days ahead of the cabinet decision to promote Chand and a supplementary petition after the latter's promotion, is not a stakeholder and hence cannot move the court about an administrative issue like promotion and the Supreme Court also cannot issue interim order on the same.

Reminding the doctrine of separation of powers PM Dahal has stated it will be difficult to enforce law if the court were to encroach on the government's jurisdiction of appointing IGP. He has argued that the government, responsible for maintaining law and order, should be allowed to appoint the person it deems appropriate and qualified to lead the force.

Referring to clause 41 of the Nepal Police regulations, PM Dahal also has contended that other five criteria would not have been mentioned if promotion had to be made solely on seniority. He has added that all six criteria have to be given equal weightage and seniority alone cannot supercede other five criteria including efficiency, performance, competence, leadership qualities and ability to inspire and mobilize juniors.

PM Dahal does not need to reply to the petition filed by DIG Nava Raj Silwal as the petitioner had not named him as a defendant. The Office of the Council of Ministers, meanwhile, has argued that the office and cabinet are two separate entities and the decision was taken by the cabinet and not the office.   

A division bench of justices Hari Krishna Karki and Ishwor Khatiwada after hearing both the sides related to the two writ petitions against Chand's appointment earlier had said the next hearing will be held after the government furnishes written response to the court explaining the reasons to appoint Chand. All the defendants have already furnished their response to the respective petitions. The hearing on Thursday may take decision about whether to annul the decision to appoint Chand or not.

The government on February 12 had promoted the third-ranked contender among the quartet of DIGs--Silwal, Prakash Aryal, Chand, and Bam Bahadur Bhandari--all of whom were in contention for the top job. Silwal and Prakash Aryal were ranked ahead of Chand but Chand prevailed in the race due to the unflinching backing of Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The single bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki hearing a writ petition filed by advocate Dhakal had ordered the government not to implement the cabinet’s decision just a few hours after Chand's appointment. She again issued the same instruction the following day hearing a petition field by Silwal.

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