KATHMANDU, Aug 17: While terming the Supreme Court (SC) verdict against party leader Khum Bahadur Khadka as ´unjust´, Nepali Congress (NC) has decided to move the apex court with a petition seeking review of the verdict.
A Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of the party that began Thursday termed the court verdict ´unjust´ arguing that CWC member Khadka was convicted of corruption even as he was earlier given clean chit by Special Court in the same case.
"We are astonished and saddened by the Supreme Court verdict giving punishment to the party´s CWC member Khum Bahadur Khadka, who was given clean chit by the Special Court," said a press statement issued by the NC after the meeting.
NC has decided to hold consultations with lawyers close to the party before knocking the door of the apex court for review of the verdict. "The party will take active initiative for judicial review of the unjust verdict passed by Supreme Court after holding consultation with legal professionals," the statement further said.
At the outset of the meeting, President Sushil Koirala had told that NC was under attack from various quarters. While putting the issue of court verdict against Khadka an agenda for discussion in the meeting, Koirala had argued that the verdict had put Khadka into ´injustice´.
According to CWC member Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, most of the CWC members speaking at the meeting had argued that only NC leaders were victimized as the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed graft cases selectively against NC leaders during the direct rule of then King Gyanendra also. Earlier, the court convicted Govinda Raj Joshi, Chiranjeevi Wagle and former NC leader J P Gupta of corruption.
The meeting held discussions on the court verdict against Khadka at the start as the party´s senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba also proposed that the meeting first took a decision in the case. Deuba also alleged that courts and anti-graft bodies were biased against NC leaders and spared the leaders from other political parties.
Keeping in view of the demand of the party´s district president, the CWC meeting Thursday also decided to call the party´s Mahasamiti meeting from October 10 to 13 in Janakpur. The Mahasamiti meeting, which is the apex body of the party after general convention, is scheduled to bring amendments in the party´s statute as demanded by the district presidents and chart out new strategy of the party.
Though there is a statutory provision of the NC to call Mahasamiti meeting every year, NC has failed to hold Mahasamiti meeting after its 12th General Convention held in September, 2010. The gathering of district committee presidents held last year in Kavrepalanchowk and this year in Barhabise, Sindhupalchowk, had asked the party leadership to immediately call Mahasamiti meeting, which draws party´s village level leaders from across the country.
General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula had presented 11 different issues for discussions at the meeting that is scheduled to continue on Friday. Other issues for the ongoing CWC meeting include formation of Discipline Committee, Account Committee, Election Committee, endorsement of 12 new departments formed in the party and discussions in concurrent political situations and the party´s strategy to move ahead.
Addressing the CWC meeting, Koirala had argued that the alliance formed by UCPN (Maoist) in the name of pro-federalism force had created hindrance in forging consensus among parties. He, however, stressed on the need to continue with dialogue and negotiations with other parties to resolve the current political deadlock, according to another CWC member Dhan Raj Gurung.
Other CWC members speaking in the meeting had asked the party leadership to implement the report submitted by CWC member Bhim Bahadur Tamang-led committee formed earlier to study the demands put forth by the leaders from ethnic and indigenous communities. "I have demanded that the party should form similar committees to study the issues of Dalit, Madhesis and women," said Bishwakarma.