The Supreme Court of Nepal on Thursday ordered caretaker Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to appear before it within the next seven days with a written response to the cases of contempt of court filed against him. Two separate cases of contempt of court were filed against Oli at the Apex court on Tuesday, for his alleged remarks on 95-year-old senior advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari, calling him "a grandpa lawyer".
Hearing the writ petitions filed against Oli on Thursday, the single bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Sharma asked Oli to be present in-person to explain in written "why should he not face action under contempt of court".
Advocates Kumar Sharma Acharya and Kanchan Krishna Neupane had filed the two contempt of court cases. They have claimed that Oli tried to influence the court and made disparaging remarks against legal practitioners. On January 22, Oli, while addressing his cadres, was defending his House dissolution move. And in doing so, he said that lawyers were arguing ad nauseum on House dissolution despite the fact that the constitution has no provision allowing restoration of the House.
Oli had also taken a jibe at senior advocate and former chair of Nepal Bar Association Krishna Prasad Bhandarii, saying that the petitioners were giving trouble to a “grandfather” lawyer as well.
Prime Minister Oli, 68, had dissolved the Nepal Parliament on December 20, amidst a political tussle with Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'. Last week, Oli was expelled from the general membership of the NCP led by Prachanda. Bhandari, participating at the Supreme Court hearing on Sunday, had termed Oli's move to dissolve the House of Representatives as a "coup against the Constitution".
Meanwhile, Nepal's apex court has also ordered four former chief justices and one former speaker of Parliament to be present in court on separate cases of contempt of court. The former chief justices facing the contempt charges are Anup Raj Sharma, Meen Bahadur Rayamajhi, Sushila Karki and Kalyan Shrestha. Former speaker Daman Nath Dhungana faces the same charge.
(With agency inputs)