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Nepal VP spurns oath deadline

world Updated: Aug 31, 2009 00:34 IST

Terming it as “unconstitutional” a defiant Nepalese Vice President on Sunday refused to obey Supreme Court’s directive asking him to re-take oath of office in Nepali language or resign from his post.

While the government asked Vice President Parmananda Jha to follow the apex court’s order by taking oath again at the end of a seven-day deadline on Sunday, his aides indicated he was going on leave for an indefinite period.

At a press conference on Sunday, Jha said he would consider taking a fresh oath only if the government and the Parliament endorse an amendment bill, under consideration in Parliament, granting recognition to all languages spoken in Nepal.

“The court’s order to re-take oath of office is wrong and unconstitutional as I have already taken oath of office last year in the presence of President, then Prime Minister, Supreme Court Chief Justice... And for the purpose of government record I have signed in the format of the oath of office written in Nepali language,” he said reading from a statement at a crowded press conference.

The SC verdict had left Jha with two options, either resign from his post or re-take oath in Nepali.

Neither did Jha resign, nor is he likely to attend a fresh oath-taking ceremony, with an aide indicating that he would go on a leave from Monday and would not avail the facilities given by the government.

The deadline for the SC ruling expires on Sunday and all facilities enjoyed by the Vice President will be withdrawn in case he fails to take a fresh oath.

At least six districts of Terai: Morang, Sunsari, Siraha, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Nawalparasi have been closed since Saturday to protest the Court’s verdict nullifying Vice President’s oath taken last year.