The Supreme Court has ruled that the re-appointment of seven former CPN-Maoist Center leaders, who no longer are members of parliament, as ministers even after they lost their position as lawmakers is unconstitutional.

A single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana on Thursday termed Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s move of appointing seven former UML-MC leaders in ministerial position as unconstitutional.

The PM had allowed the said leaders to assume offices after Oli took a fresh oath of office and secrecy as the prime minister in his capacity as leader of the largest political party in parliament.

Chief Justice Rana ruled that the seven leaders’ reappointment as ministers was against Article 78 of the Constitution of Nepal which clearly states that a person who is not a member of federal parliament can be a minister for only six months.

After the verdict, the ministerial positions of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Industry Lekharaj Bhatta, Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Minister for Urban Development Prabhu Shah, Minister for Drinking Water Mani Thapa, Minister for Labor Gauri Shankar Chaudhary and Minister for Sports Dawa Lama have automatically fallen vacant.

They can assume ministerial positions again only after their election as a member of the House of Representatives or the National Assembly of the federal parliament.

A writ petition was filed by advocates duo Kapil Dev Dhakal and Biraj Thapa requesting that all the former CPN-MC leaders who lost their position as lawmakers should be automatically relieved from the post of ministers since Prime Minister Oli had taken an ‘unconstitutional’ move to give them continuity as ministers in his cabinet.