In a landmark verdict, Nepal's Supreme Court on Monday directed President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress chief Sher Bahadur Deuba as prime minister by Tuesday and reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives for a second time in five months.
A five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court led by judge Cholendra Shumsher Rana issued the decision stating that President Bhandari's decision to dissolve the lower house upon a recommendation of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli was an unconstitutional act, delivering a significant blow to the veteran Communist leader who was preparing for snap polls.
The Bench issued a mandamus to appoint Deuba because the Prime Minister by Tuesday. Mr. Deuba, 74, has served because the prime minister on four occasions.
The court also ordered summoning new session of House of Representatives at 5 PM on July 18.
Chief Justice Rana also said that the bench has concluded that legislator doesn't apply when lawmakers participate within the voting to elect new Prime Minister as per Article 76(5) of the Constitution.
The bench comprising four other senior most justices -- Dipak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai -- had concluded hearings within the case last week.
President Bhandari had dissolved the 275-member lower house for the second time in five months on May 22 at the advice of Prime Minister Oli and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19.
Last week, the committee had announced the schedule for mid-term elections despite the uncertainty over polls.
As many as 30 petitions, including one by the opposition alliance led by the Nepali Congress, were filed against the dissolution of the House by the President.
A petition was filed by the Opposition parties’ alliance with the signature of 146 lawmakers demanding reinstatement of the lower house of Parliament and appointment of Deuba because the prime minister.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and will 10 at the advice of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal political party (NCP).