The constitutional bench formed by Chief Justice (CJ) Cholendra Shumsher Rana on Sunday resumed hearing the petitions related to the House dissolution on Wednesday.
The hearing couldn't continue Monday after CJ Rana was taken ill. The bench formed by CJ Rana on the basis of seniority has started hearing on Wednesday despite opposition by lawyers of Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli on Sunday.
The Supreme Court (SC) has not entered the substance of the case despite the constitutional bench starting hearing on May 28 with the hearings until now focused on the justices included in the constitutional bench.
The petitioners against House dissolution first protested against inclusion of Justices Tej Bahadur KC and Bam Kumar Shrestha while the lawyers of PM Oli started opposition when CJ Rana formed the bench on basis of seniority to address the demands of petitioners.
Speaking at the resumption of hearing on Wednesday CJ Rana said the bench he formed on Sunday on the basis of seniority will continue hearing. Speakign after CJ Rana Justice Ishwore Khatiwada said the bench will no longer entertain any question about constitution of the bench.
Advocates including Rajaram Ghimire, Krishna Prasad Bhandari, Deepak Mishra and Yagya Mani Neupane on Sunday submitted an application claiming that 11 justices in the current 13-strong roster for constitutional bench cannot hear the case. They argued that those 11 justices cannot hear the case as some of the petitioners were part of the parliamentary hearing committee that conducted hearing for their appointment as Supreme Court (SC) justices.
The lawyers submitting the application are those who have also filed a petition demanding that the House be reinstated and Oli again made PM.
Attorney General Ramesh Badal, meanwhile, demanded that the previous constitutional bench formed by CJ Rana should hear the case.
C Rana earlier on Sunday formed the five-strong constitutional bench led by him and including Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Meera Khadka, Ishwore Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai to hear the case.
He was forced to form the bench on the basis of seniority after Justices Deepak Kumar Karki and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai quit the bench he had constituted earlier following refusal by Justices Bam Kumar Shrestha and Tej Bahadur KC to recuse writing that the case about CPN unification is related to the House dissolution.
Lawyers pleading on behalf of the petitioners had protested against presence of Justices Bam Kumar Shrestha and Tej Bahadur KC in the constitutional bench hearing the petitions related to the House dissolution.
Shrestha was part of the joint bench also including Kumar Regmi that invalidated the unification of CPN on March 7 reinstating CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) to the state before their unification while KC was part of the bench that refused to review that verdict.