The Supreme Court of Nepal on Thursday ordered Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to appear before him within the next seven days with a written response to the cases of contempt filed against him.
Two separate cases of contempt were filed against PM Oli in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for alleged statements about 95-year-old senior attorney Krishna Prasad Bhandari calling him a “grandpa attorney”.
When the only bank of Justice Manoj Kumar Sharma heard the written petitions filed against Prime Minister Oli on Thursday, it asked the Prime Minister to be present in person to explain in writing “why he should not be brought to justice in disregard”.
Attorneys Kumar Sharma Acharya and Kanchan Krishna Neupane had filed the two contempts of legal proceedings.
The 68-year-old Prime Minister Oli dissolved the Nepalese parliament on December 20 in a political dispute with the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP), Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.
Last week PM Oli was expelled from Prachanda-led general membership of the NCP.
A petition was filed with the Supreme Court last Sunday to verify the authenticity of the gazette in which the House of Representatives was dissolved. Nonagenarian attorney Bhandari was due to attend the hearing.
At a public event last Friday, Prime Minister Oli allegedly called the Supreme Court hearing a “drama”. When Bhandari attended, PM Oli allegedly ridiculed him as a “grandpa lawyer”.
Attorneys Acharya and Neupane have condemned Prime Minister Oli’s statements and sought contempt for legal proceedings.
Bhandari, who attended the Supreme Court hearing on Sunday, called Prime Minister Oli’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives a “coup against the Constitution”.
He had said the Prime Minister did not have the right to dissolve the house in the current circumstances.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court has also ordered that four former chief judges and one former parliamentary speaker be present in separate cases of contempt for the court.
The former chief judges facing contempt charges are Anup Raj Sharma, Meen Bahadur Rayamajhi, Sushila Karki and Kalyan Shrestha. Former spokesman Daman Nath Dhungana faces the same charges.