National

CEC refutes contempt of court charge

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Kathmandu :

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav and four other EC commissioners furnished written replies to the Supreme Court today, asserting they had done nothing contemptuous.

The apex court had, on Wednesday, issued a show cause notice to EC office bearers and the prime minister in response to a contempt of court case filed against them by Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal leader Sarvendranath Shukla.

Supreme Court Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Panthi said the contents of the replies of the four other commissioners — Ila Sharma, Narendra Dahal, Ishwari Prasad Paudel and Sudhir Kumar Shah — were similar to that of the CEC.

Yadav stated in his reply that the EC took an institutional decision on October 29 to print separate ballot papers for provincial and parliamentary first-past-the-post elections and informed about that to Janak Education Material Centre, where ballot papers were being printed.

Yadav said the EC had also directed its concerned departments to make amendments to  the election directives, relevant laws, voter education materials, training materials and election calendar and review the overall election programme, including estimated budget to print ballot papers and  transport election materials, in the wake of its latest decision. He said all this was being done to implement the Supreme Court’s order.

CEC Yadav added that the EC had told JEMC on Sunday to start printing separate ballot papers for Baitadi, Bajhang, Darchula, Bajura and Jajarkot districts.

CEC Yadav also apprised the SC of the EC’s decision to instruct JEMC to burn 36,000 ballot papers printed for Mugu district, as they
were printed before the EC received a copy of the Supreme Court order to print separate ballot papers for provincial and parliamentary FPTP polls.

Panthi said the court served the show cause notice to  Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba  yesterday. The PM will also have to furnish a written reply to the SC within three days of receiving the notice.

Shukla had filed a contempt of court case against EC office bearers, stating that the EC started printing single sheet ballot papers for provincial and parliamentary ballot papers in violation of the Supreme Court’s October 18 order to the Election Commission to seriously consider printing separate FPTP ballot papers for the two polls.

Yadav and other EC commissioners asserted that since they were acting as per the Supreme Court order they did nothing contemptuous.

Published: October 31, 2017, 4:55 am