Ruling lawmakers have opposed the issue of approving leave of fugitive CPN-UML House of Representatives (HoR) member Laxmi Mahato Koiri.
Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire announced approval of leave of Koiri along with other lawmakers pointing that he was undergoing treatment on Friday.
CPN (Maoist Center) lawmaker immediately demanded that leave approval of only others excluding Koiri be done. Nepali Congress (NC) and Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) lawmakers then banged their respective desks in support but Speaker Ghimire moved the House business forward ignoring that.
Ruling lawmakers then stood up in protest. NC Chief Whip Ramesh Lekhak stated that to recognize a fugitive as sick would be laughable. “What will people call us honorable speaker, if we take a decision that a fugitive murder accused is sick. The part that he is sick should be removed from the record,” he demanded.
RSP President Rabi Lamichhane then urged Speaker Ghimire to not indulge in shameful politics pointing that the House currently includes lawmakers of new generation. He revealed that there was information that Koiri was absconding and was in India when he was home minister.
UML lawmaker Raghuji Panta then responded stating that his party was not in favor of recognizing a fugitive as sick and pointed that the home minister should arrest Koiri instead. “Ruling lawmakers cannot obstruct the House,” he argued. “You can’t arrest (Koiri) and then raise the issue in the House.”
The House meeting was adjourned for a while due to the chaos over the issue.
The new HoR regulations passed on April 2 has provision of suspending fugitive lawmaker but Speaker Ghimire, who was elected to the post from UML, has yet to inform the House about Koiri’s suspension.
The Janakpur High Court had ordered Koiri be sent to custody for investigation in the case accusing him of encircling and thrashing Armed Police Force ASI Thaman BK to death on September 11, 2015. But he has been absconding.
DIG Tek Prasad Rai had written to the Federal Parliament Secretariat December 22, 2022 on behalf of the Nepal Police Headquarters informing that lawmaker Koiri is absconding. But Speaker Ghimire has yet to read out the notice about Koiri’s suspension even after passing the new HoR regulation.