66 days after the Supreme Court verdict overturning the House dissolution
20, December 2020
Cabinet forwards recommendation for the dissolution of the Lower House to the President.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolves the Lower House.
Seven ministers resign from the Cabinet.
Vote of no confidence registered against PM Oli at the Parliamentary Secretariat.
13 writs filed in the Supreme Court against the dissolution move.
Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana calls for writs to be heard in the Constitutional Court. Refuses to announce an interim order on the case.
The Constitutional Bench (Harikrishna Karki, Bishwombar Prasad Shrestha, Anil Sinha and Tej Bahadur KC headed by Chief Justice Rana) presides over the first hearing against the writ. The Prime Minister’s office, President’s office and the Speaker are directed to furnish written responses by 3 January, 2021. The bench directs the offices to attend hearings and to present a list of the details of the party affiliation of the members of the House of Representatives. The order also calls for deployment of two to three judges from Nepal Bar Association and Supreme Court to an amicus curiae.
3 January, 2021
The offices of the President and the Prime Minister and the Speaker present written responses to the Supreme Court. The President and the Prime Minister insist the move of dissolution was in line with the Constitution. The Speaker terms the dissolution ‘unconstitutional’ and requests the SC to overrule.
The 13 writs are re-filed with the demand for them to be heard in Full Court and not at the Constitutional Court. Law professionals argue that Judge Harikrishna Karki should not be presiding over the hearing related to the issue, citing his close association with the PM, calling it a conflict of interest. Karki had served as an advocate during KP Oli’s term as Prime Minister in 2016.
Judge Karki steps down from the case’s hearing at the Constitutional Court.
The Supreme Court rules for the issue of the dissolution of the Lower House to be moved to a Full Court.
Justice Sapna Pradhan Malla replaces Karki on the Bench. Law professionals demand a Full Court hearing.
The SC rules that the debate has raised ‘serious questions on constitutional definition’ and that such a case will be heard at the Constitutional Court.
A month after the dissolution, the main hearing on the cases begin. The writ petitioners demand that the dissolution of the Lower House be quashed.
The hearings are complete. The delay in a verdict from the SC raises questions over SC’s independence. Street protests by both factions are a daily occurrence.