Saturday, September 8, 2012

Invocation of article 158

September 8, 2012
To Dr Surya Dhungel

Cc: Rajendra Dahal; Hari Sharma; Lalit Basnet; Mohan Lohani

Surya jee

I trust you are back home now. You must have been rejuvenated by having spent quality time with your grandchild. It happens so with me too. I become more committed and dedicated to work for the generations to come and for our motherland after I each time I spend some quality time with them (yes I have two of them).

I too had a “rocking” time in Dhaka – shocking people from Bangladesh, China, India, etc. out of their slumber with respect to water resources.

I came across news in the media that the care taker government is planning to have the president invoke Article 158 “to remove difficulty.” A cursory look at it is elusive such that people may feel that it is a good way to break the extant deadlock. However, there are a number of issues that needs to forewarned about.

Firstly, the right to recommend to the president to invoke the captioned provision lies with a government with executive authority. BRB and his cronies no more possess executive authority; this is merely a care taker government and, therefore, this government has no authority to invoke it.

However, secondly, people may mistakenly believe that even care taker government has to get work done; therefore, invocation of Article 158 is called for. What needs to be remembered is the fact that an order issued under this provision has to be ratified within one month by the parliament and there is no prospect of a parliament coming into existence within 1 month and, therefore, the order issued as such will be unconstitutional ab inito.

In this backdrop, the care taker government should not be afforded a luxury of invocating this provision. What needs to be done is having them make way for a transition government with executive authority which will chart out the way forward and steer the country accordingly towards: (1) finalizing outstanding issues like federalism based on ethnic identity by conducting a referendum, (2) election of both parliament and local bodies and (3) eventually getting new constitution proclaimed by the popularly elected parliament (substantial quantum of work for which has already been done by the CA whose term expired without being able to complete the work.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst

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