The Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the caretaker Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli asked him to explain why he was mocking lawyers who questioned his decision to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.
Contempt for trial is the most recent challenge facing the beleaguered leader after he was expelled from his party earlier this week.
The Supreme Court has ordered Oli “to provide his written replies within seven days,” Devendra Dhakal, a Supreme Court official told Reuters.
Supreme Court justices are dealing with more than a dozen petitions against Oli’s surprising move in December last year to dissolve parliament and hold new elections a year ahead of schedule. This move sparked nationwide protests amid the coronavirus pandemic and plunged the Himalayan republic into political crisis.
Despite protests, at a public event last week, Oli questioned the involvement of 94-year-old lawyer Krishna Prasad Bhandari in petitions tabled against his political decision.
Bhandari had previously stated in court that the chairman (Oli) had no prerogative to dissolve parliament and had acted unconstitutionally.
This week, two lawyers filed contempt for Oli for making statements they believed were “a direct offense” to legal fraternity.
Oli’s attorney, Ramesh Badal, said the guide had not yet received any notice from the court.
“As soon as the formal letter arrives, he (Oli) will respond accordingly,” Badal told Reuters.
Oli justified the dissolution by saying that the ruling Communist Party of Nepal did not cooperate with the government on political decisions, while his opponents said he ignored the party decision and abruptly dissolved parliament instead of settling differences with party colleagues.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)