The Nepal Supreme Court on Thursday ordered 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 the prime minister 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.
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.
A petition was filed at the Supreme Court on Sunday last to verify the authenticity of the gazette dissolving the House of Representatives. Nonagenarian lawyer Bhandari was set to participate in the hearing. At a public event on Friday last, Oli had allegedly described the hearing at the apex court as "a drama". On Bhandari's participation in it, Oli had allegedly derided him as "a grandpa lawyer".
Advocates Acharya and Neupane have condemned Oli's remarks and filed for contempt of court proceedings. Bhandari, participating at the Supreme Court hearing on Sunday, had termed Oli's move to dissolve the House of Representatives as coup against the Constitution". He had said the prime minister does not have the right to dissolve the House in the present circumstances.
Meanwhile, the 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.