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HoR Committee endorses bill to amend Constitutional Council Act

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KATHMANDU: The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee under the House of Representatives has endorsed a Bill aimed at amending the Constitutional Council (Functions, Duties, Powers, and Procedures) Act-2066 BS.

The Committee, chaired by Ramhari Khatiwada, passed the Bill with amendments during today’s meeting.

The Bill had been pending for a long time due to a lack of consensus among political parties regarding the decision-making procedures of the Council.

The Committee approved a provision allowing the Council to make decisions in meetings attended by the Council Chair and a 50 percent majority of the total members.

The meeting also discussed the schedule, time, place, and presence of members at meetings.

A new provision was endorsed, requiring the Secretary to inform members about the meeting date, time, and venue through a letter, which shall also be circulated digitally.

Previously, the Secretary was required to inform Committee members about the meeting details at least 48 hours in advance, along with the meeting agenda.

The new provision requires any Council member to inform the Chair at least 24 hours in advance if they are unable to attend the meeting.

The Constitutional Council comprises the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the National Assembly Chairperson, the leader of the major opposition party, and the Deputy Speaker, and is presided over by the Prime Minister.

It is formed as per Article 284 of the Constitution, which states that the Council is responsible for making recommendations for the appointment of the Chief Justice and the chiefs and officials of the Constitutional Bodies.

At the beginning of today’s meeting, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, expressed her views on the Bill on behalf of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

She stated that it is not appropriate to introduce provisions that could marginalize an individual holding the executive post and create an inconvenient atmosphere for performance.