Nepal's SC begins hearing of Republican declaration case

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Kathmandu, June 3 (UNI) A petition has been filed in the Nepal Supreme court questioning the constitutionality of the abolition of monarchy by a Constituent Assembly that did not have 26 members needed to be appointed by the cabinet.

The first meeting of the CA held last week had declared abolition of monarchy by an absolute majority of 560 votes.

Only 4 votes were against the proposal.

There are 26 members to be appointed by the cabinet, which is to be formed after a few days time when the political parties reach a consensus.

''The CA will not be complete without those appointments. So, any work done by incomplete CA cannot be constitutional,'' Advocate Ram Kumar Ojha argued in the petition.

Ojha asked the apex court to nullify the declaration of the republic on constitutional grounds, besides staying it though an interim order that will remain in effect until the issue is finally settled.

The initial hearing on the case will start from today, the court has said. The government has given a 15 days time to the former king Gyanendra to vacate the palace to turn it into a museum.

Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula met former king Gyanendra at the palace yesterday to discuss his departure from the palace.

''Gyanendra was ready to vacate the palace and had said the verdict of the CA will be accepted.'' The former king also requested for residence for him and his mother, he hadded.

The government will discuss and inform the former king, Sitaula said. Informed sources said Gyanendra wanted to live in Nagarjun, a summer resort palace on top of Balaju, Kathmandu. The former king is the richest man in Nepal.

UNI XC ARB GC1304

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