May 28, 2011 – The Judgement Day!
Yes, you read it right! Its true for our beloved Nepal.
With less than 12 hours remaining, either to unconstitutionally extend the Constituent Assembly’s term by Midnight May 28, 2011, yet again surpassing the peoples mandate given to the 601 CA members back in 2008 to promulgate a constutition; Rule of Law in Nepal is yet again stuck in a political limbo.
Jurisprudence classes had defined Law and Politics to be intertwined and dependent on each other. Law for Politics or Politics for Law was the debate in our law classes back in 2002 during LLM. I always opined on favor of the Law, as the supreme document of the land, that straightens out the political, economic and social processes.
Nepal has a troublent history in terms of legal development. First, though the nation’s DNA can be traced back as early as 5-6000 years old based on epic Hindu manuscripts; we did not have a written law until 1800s. Well there were Royal decrees before that. A Malla Dynasty king announced a set of laws about 5 centuries ago, as Human Justice Science (manav nyaya shastra); followed by another Shah Dynasty King about 4 centuries back, promulgating The 26 Commandmants. Then came his descendant, a powerful Shah king, who united Nepal into 3 times its todays size, until being curtailed by the British Empire in 1800s, after the historical Anglo-Gurkha War, which the English were defeated! Yes! They were defeated from colonizing Nepal! This King, pronounced few more oral rules. It was only in 1860’s, the Powerful Rana Dynasty Coup-De-Tat Prime Minister, became the first Nepalese ever to have set his foot in the “Outer World” – Europe. Legend has it, he met Nepolean, who had issued Nepolean Code, and then he met The Queen of England and learned Lawmaking process and then he returned with a group of Indian law drafters in his palace. The Shah King was behind bars under his supervision. In 1863, the First Written Code was released, majorly based on the Hindu caste hierarchy and rules he wanted to impose, such as curtailing civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights. In 1950, the Rana dynasty was overthrown with India’s support and the Shah King resumed power.
Then started a political-legal roller coaster!!!
Between 1950 and 2011, there has been 6 forms of governments: Rana’s Oligarchy followed by Constitutional Monarchy in 1951, replaced by Anarchy after failure of Multiparty Democracy for 10 years, establishing a 30 year Autocratic Absolute Monarchy until 1990, upgraded to Constitutional Democratic Monarchy until 2001 Royal Massacre of the most popular Shah King, continued by both active and inactive Coup-de-tat of another Shah King from 2002 to 2006; overthrown by a consensus between Armed Maoists, Democrats and Communists in 2006 to promulgate a new constitution and then conduct a Parliamentary election; which of course has not happened till date.
An amazing thing throughout this spaghetti political drama; is that, the Judiciary has remained intact, untouched, except for few organizational changes within. At times, there have been no executive, no legislative and the nation runs on the sole decisions of the Supreme Court, where there is a political question. The Apex court has, revived overthrown governments, sacked governments, ordered governments, questioned governments and when the government fails to fulfill its obligations, theres no option for the Apex court, but to watch, wait and see for yet another Writ of Mandamus requiring Amicus Curie, to define the geo-political scenario of Nepal and pave a middle way out between the conflicting parties.
Last week, the Supreme Court once again decided, criticising its own previous verdict allowing an extension of the Constitution Assembly for 6 months, as unconstitutional, as the Interim Constitution only mandates 1 ONE Single Uno ‘Ek’ extension for 6 months only.
The irony is, the 601 Daily Allowance receiving, 2012 Model Automobile enjoying, misusers of the diplomatic passports, victims of literal public slaps, contract killer hirers, who do not deserve to be termed as “chosen by the popular will”; are still engaged in yet another drama; the drama of quitely renewing the CA term, while Kathmandu sleeps, around midnight, like they did the last time. The diplomats, like always, issue a joint statement, using, copy and paste terms such as ‘denouncing’, ‘saddening’, ‘peace’ etc. The people watch aloof, caught between any-time reinstigating armed terrorism of the Maoists, who refuse to surrender arms, even when they hold the Home and Defense Office! Oh yes! and there are fishermen, who always fish in the troubled waters, trying to revive the legendary ‘Chhepu-The Lochness Monster’ of Nepal, from the waters.
For the People, By the People, From the People; WTF are the politicians doing here?