CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli has questioned the Supreme Court (SC) for ruling Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane ineligible to become lawmaker.
The constitutional bench including Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki, and Justices Bishwambhar Shrestha, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada, Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Sinha on January 27 reasoned that Lamichhane is ineligible to become lawmaker as he did not complete the process to re-acquire his citizenship certificate that became invalid after he acquired US citizenship. He also consequently became ineligible to continue as deputy prime minister and home minister and duly resigned.
Lamichhane then acquired Nepali citizenship from Kathmandu District Administration Office on January 29.
Speaking during the House meeting on Sunday Oli clarified that he respects the SC verdict but then went on to slam it. Pointing that the Election Commission had investigated complaints filed against Lamichhane before the election on November 20, 2022 and deemed him to be eligible to contest the election, he has stressed that Lamichhane was elected by the sovereign people by a very big margin.
He has called Lamichhane’s lack of Nepali citizenship at the time of contesting the election mere procedural issue which was corrected on the first day the government offices reopened and suggested that the Apex Court should have asked Lamichhane to correct the procedural issue by acquiring Nepali citizenship instead of revoking the post of lawmaker, and consequently that of deputy prime minister and home minister.
He has also repeated the arguments presented by Lamichhane’s lawyers before the constitutional bench pointing that the petitioners did not have any business to move the court about the issue questioning in what way the petitioners were harmed by Lamichhane being elected lawmaker.
The bench in response to Lamichhane's lawyers arguments had asked them whether a foreign citizen or non-citizen can be allowed to continue functioning as a lawmaker and minister if no one lodges a complaint against the person.
Oli has also questioned who the SC provided justice to.