Samim Ansari has been appointed chairman of the Muslim Commission without endorsement of the Parliamentary Hearing Committee following the charge of forging his citizenship certificate and his affiliation to CPN.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday appointed him and chiefs of four different constitutional bodies.
The Constitution Council on January 20 had recommended former secretary Balananda Paudel as chairman of the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission, former secretary Shanta Raj Subedi as that of National Inclusion Commission, Bijay Kumar Dutta of the Madhesi Commission, Bishnu Kumar Chaudhary of the Tharu Commission and Samim Ansari in the Muslim Commission.
The parliamentary committee endorsed the four heads but could not take a decision on endorsement of Ansari due to differences within the ruling CPN party.
The five heads were sworn in by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana in presence of President Bhandari at the latter’s office on Thursday.
Ansari was appointed even without parliamentary endorsement as per the regulation about operation of the federal parliaments and committees that mentions there will be no obstruction in the recommended persons getting appointment if no decision is taken by the parliamentary hearing committee within 45 days.
The 45-day deadline for Ansari expired on March 9 with the committee failing to take any decision. The committee requires just a simple majority for endorsement and two-third majority for rejection.
The ruling CPN was divided on whether to approve Ansari, who is close to Chairman KP Sharma Oli, or not.
Lawmakers in the committee close to the Madhav Nepal faction were preparing to reject Ansari on the grounds of forged citizenship certificate. But those close to Oli were working to get Ansari approved.
With the CPN divided, and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal boycotting the meeting, it had become almost impossible for the committee to reject Ansari and difficult to even endorse him.
CPN lawmakers Surendra Pandey and Yogesh Bhattarai had been advising Ansari to withdraw his name but he did not comply.
The parliamentary committee investigated the authenticity of Ansari’s citizenship and educational certificates but did not reach any conclusion.
The photocopy of citizenship that Ansari had presented to the Constitutional Council mentioned that he was born on October 10, 1973. He also mentioned that the citizenship was issued on January 6, 199 from Kathmandu ward no. 9.
But his date of birth is October 10, 1980 as per the record kept in the District Administration Office, Kathmandu and the record mentions that the citizenship was issued from Kathmandu ward no. 19. The last digit of his year of birth 2037 (BS), 7 has been overwritten with 0 to make it 2030 in another record in the District Administration Office.
The criteria set for appointment at the constitutional bodies forbid politically affiliated persons. But the Constitutional Council recommended Ansari who was in the closed list submitted by the then CPN-UML for proportional representation (PR) system in the last general election.
Ansari, who had joined the then UML from Rastriya Janata Party Nepal before the local election, is the central member of CPN after unification. The Election Commission had written to the Parliamentary Hearing Committee on February 23 informing Ansari was in the closed list of UML and is the central member of CPN.
Ansari was the first ranked among the Muslims in the closed list of UML due to his proximity to Oli, and was denied the post only due to the mandatory provision requiring one-third female representation in the parliament.