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SC issues show cause notice against CIAA chief

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KATHMANDU — The Supreme Court on Monday issued a show-cause notice to Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Chief Lok Man Singh Karki.

A single bench of Justice Govinda Kumar Upadhyaya issued the show cause notice seeking Karki’s reply within three days responding to a contempt of court case filed by Shanta Dixit, wife of noted journalist and Sajha Yatayat Chairman Kanak Mani Dixit.

Dixit moved to the Apex court after Kanak’s arrest by the CIAA for investigation into a disproportionate property case against him, arguing that the anti-graft body breached due procedure in its investigation.

In January, a division bench of the then chief justice Kalyan Shrestha and justice Om Prakash Mishra had denied issuing interim order to Kanak Mani Dixit’s demand to stop the CIAA’s investigation against him but reminded the anti-graft body that no action should be taken against anyone without mentioning the jurisdiction and purpose as per the existing laws.

Earlier, the SC had directed that the CIAA should follow procedure while carrying out its investigation. Dixit had argued that a personal decision of a commissioner do not amount to process instead of a board decision.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

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Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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