Monarchy Debated In Court, First Time in Nepal

By Kiran Chapagain on August 9th, 2005 in Eagle Eye

King’s constitutionality questioned in the court for the first time in Nepal. An analysis

The debate over the constitutionality of King Gyanendra has now reached to the court from the streets of the capital. Now lawyers have begun to question the constitutionality of the king as the chairman of the council of ministers right in the court of law.

The credit goes to Shambhu Thapa, president of Nepal Bar Association, who is nicknamed as a ” Jiundo Manchhe” (living man) for his fight for rule of law and supremacy of the constitution after the February One royal take over.

As he stood up to plead on behalf of the popular student leader Gagan Thapa, who is facing sedition charges for chanting slogans against the monarchy, in front of the bench of the Special Court Monday, he dragged the debate over the constitutionality of the king into the court for debate formally on Monday.

In fact, it is the first time a debate over the constitutionality of the king took place in the court of law. He, along with other lawyers, arugued that the king is assumed the post unrecognized by the constitution. Constitutionally, it is an elected prime minister who heads the government and the king is just a constitutiona one but after the royal take over the king is assuming the power of a prime minister and have thus become active, a direct violation of the constitution.

The lawyers said that an executive king is subject to criticism of any sort and cannot demand immunity of such criticism. Only a consitutional king deserves immunity from criticism of any sorts but when he denies to respect the constitution, he cannot demand such immunity, Thapa argued.

Thapa said the king is unconstitutional since he is assuming the post unreconginzed by the constitution.

“The king who is assuming the post unrecognized by the Constitution, should be ready to face any criticism of the people. It is natural to see slogans, protests against the king who is the head of the Council of Ministers,” Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa argued before the judges hearing the case of Gagan in the Special Court.

“It is the inborn rights of the people to chant slogans against an executive king. Gagan exercised his inborn rights by chanting slogans against an executive king. If he [the king] wants no criticism against him, he should remain constitutional one and demand for respect of his immunity,” he said pleading innocence of Gagan.

Popular student leader Gagan has been in detention since July 26 on charge of sedition for chanting “objectionable slogans against the king” during a demonstration organized by civil society on July 24. The court extended his detention by five days today and ordered the authorities to reach a conclusion within the deadline whether the case would be filed against Gagan or not.

Another advocate Subash Nemwang argued in the same vein. â��His Majesty, according to the Constitution of 1990, an institution, not an executive. “The Constitution allows to chant any slogans against the king who assumes executive power of a prime minister.”

People can smear black on the face of a king who violates the constitution, Nemang said.

As Thapa and Nemwang questioned the constitutionality of the king, the sitting judges were silent and did not dare to intervene with their arguments.

The question of the constitutional status of the king in the court has now opened up another debate over monarchy in the country. Constitutionally, the king is just a constitutional monarch, not the head of council of ministers as he is now. After the February One takeover, he has denied to be constitutional and have assumed the executive post.

Any way, Thapa deserves many thanks from Nepalese people who believe in democracy for daring to question the constitutionality of the king in the court. In fact, all the people of Nepal are thankful to Thapa. We are indebted to Thapa for his courage. Thapa has formally opened up another debate in Nepal.

19 Responses to “Monarchy Debated In Court, First Time in Nepal”

1. Somu Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:07 am

The actions of King Gyanendra mirror the actions of his father. In a near identical royal coup in 1960, King Mahendra shut down democracy in Nepal for 30 years. Since then, Nepal has opened up through trade and tourism. The 30-year dictatorship left Nepal’s 20 million people living in one of the poorest countries in the world.

In the 1960s, it was easy for the world to abandon Nepali democracy. The world needs to send a clear message to King Gyanendra and the Army leaders that this will no longer be the case. The monarchy is the root of all problems of Nepal and the root cause of the Nepali people�s suffering and misery.

So it is time that all Nepalis join hands (forgetting their petty difference), to do away with the rotten, corrupt, immoral, bold thirsty monarchy from the soil of Nepal for good. This is the only way which can bring a bright future for all Nepalis and Nepal with Republican Democracy.
2. Paramendra Bhagat Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:32 am

Gagan Thapa has emerged the face of the movement.
3. Pramod Aryal Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 1:18 am

it is natural course of rule of law, when one tries to act beyond the limits and spirit of constitution he or she will be challenged in the court. the time is running short for present government. it was nice meeting and talking with Shambhu Thapa here. Good luck both Thapas.
4. nationalist Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 1:40 am

Well done Thapas

Nepal AmA needs sons like u who can really think about Nepal and Neplai people. Shambhu Thapa is absolutely right. If King wants no criticism he should be constitutional Monarch. If he is the head of council of ministers then he himself pulled into debate. There is no one in the world who is undebated as head of the council of minister like P.M. So G. Shaha is now a P.M. of nepal.
5. hari Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:26 pm

What a lovely t-shirt depicting the real man that is. A punk that has made the democracy movement a rally of thugs, thieves, robbers and looters. A laughable joke. Look at his face. [icd] Rioters are never respected whether they are in power or out of it. They get money from the political masters to run these mock shows so that their masters can go to power.
6. Shyam Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 2:33 pm

Yes andolan without destination may give more pain to general public in future. Who is ready to take that responsibility and who will guarantee after success of this andolan will bring peace and good future in the country?
7. sameer Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 4:08 pm

At last some individuals have the guts to publicly question the legality of the present kingship. Congrats!
8. biswash acharya Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 4:39 pm

Keep it on Gagan ,we r with u.
9. raja Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 8:01 pm

it is pot head, gang in campus, drug addicts [icd] are ruining our society.
10. A Nepali Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 10:45 pm

To har:
Please deeply think about what you are saying. If your eyes don’t open in the 21st century then there would be no chance to your siblings to put a pace further. Long live the mentality of slaves!
11. Impartial Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 1:41 am

Hari and Raja are Bhada ka Tatto,
Well done Thapas, Keep it up the debate, we are with you.
12. nepaliChhoro Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 9:14 am

Thapas have shown a great courage. Salute to them
We need to wake up from a primitive mentality of having a king in a country. The world has changed a lot and the value of king has become obsolete. What for do we need a king like Gyanendra or Paras??? Look at their backgrounds…murderer, raper, drug-addict, mafia…
So Thapas, you guys have initiated the most essential debate and keep in mind we are with you no matter what beliefs we have.
13. Revolution? Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 11:32 am

Let’s be careful with our eulogy for Gagan and his actions…and not jump the gun and start worshiping him like he is a saviour! Although, it certainly looks like Gagane’s time to shine. If nothing else he is on a sure track to become a PM in the future. We all know the best way to build your credentials is to go to jail as many times as possible!…it does not matter how you do it, all that matters is that you go to jail PERIOD!, and if you can do it in the name of the people, that is even better. So Gagane…go for it and “burn” this country to the ground, maobadhi alone is not enough to do that!…ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Then we all will have a genesis…on the blood and tears of millions!

Who are we fighting and what are we fighting for? Whose revolution are we talking about? Maybe the millions that will die in the process will never know!
14. Mr nepal lover Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 2:40 pm

Mr thapa we will help you don warry you nomber one lider i nepal for nepali . I don belive any other leader fo nepal and i hope you will coming
soon nepal pirminister and all the nepali get the democreacy . i hope you will coming soon out of cort then come again aandolan and teach the all the big leader what is the aandolan what is the leader how to coming parjatantra sabaee tapae le sikaunu paryo neta haru laee aani raja laee pani hami sabaee tapaee ko satha ma chhau . tapaae le bhaneko sundaa ta aahile naee desh laee tapaee ko saraee khacho chha. tara ke garane
tapaeelaee naee kin thunchha thyo mon parena .gagan ji tara tapaee le arko autta kam garnu paryo deupa ji laaee chhitto nikalnu paryo la ta gagan ji malaee aasha cha chhittaee yo kam hunchha bhanera .

jaya nepal.
15. Smriti Says:
August 12th, 2005 at 3:45 am

Revolution,

I would think it ought to be painfully apparent who we are fighting for—-the People of Nepal and the country have suffered long and hard under this regime of crooks, thugs and opportunists—the fight that is being waged is NOT for the benefit of any one party or indeed for the various parties as a whole. It is for the sake of going back to the point in time where people in Nepal did not have to fear being woken up at night and draged from their homes. We already have the dubious distinction of having the largest number of “dissappeared’s” in the worls—the blood and sacrifice that you seem so sure will follow will indeed happen—but it will happen becuase the King and his bunch of croonies only know the language of violence. If you are under the mistaken notion that the King cares about the people ( “my people” as he claims)—-wake up!

Granted, the dreams and hopes of the entire country when we had democracy in 1990 were shot to hell thanks to the personal degradation of our so-called leaders—but let’s face it—the current regime is plunging the country into een deeper morass and the sooner the King, his family and his bunch of croonies give in to the inevitable, the beter off we all will be.
16. GANATRANTA Says:
August 12th, 2005 at 1:12 pm

THE KING SHOULD BE CHALLENGED & TULSI GIRI [icd]
17. united for nepal Says:
August 15th, 2005 at 9:37 pm

You have to be a punk your-self to support ‘the man’ in the picture wearing a t-shirt like that…. and he calls himself a ‘leader’.
18. Truth Says:
September 21st, 2005 at 1:47 pm

What about Girija and Sujata about Dhamija case. Just give them the medal for their good deeds. Where was Sambhu Thapa, when Girija was challenging the supreme court?

Sambhu Thapa and the lawyers were quiet because they are the political activist and obey the supremo. But when Tulsi Giri said something about the supreme court he and his gang filed the case.

What jugdment do people will expect from this Bar..
19. Truth Says:
September 21st, 2005 at 1:48 pm

Equal or one sided…

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One thought on “Monarchy Debated In Court, First Time in Nepal”

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