KATHMANDU- The High Court of Patan has stayed the government’s decision to appoint Sushil Bhatta as the Investment Board’s CEO.
In its interim order issued on Tuesday, the Patan High Court’s single-bench led by Nahakul Subedi ordered the government not to implement its decision of the appointment and allow Bhatta to carry out any work as the Investment Board’s CEO.
The stay order has now made the fate of Bhatta’s appointment uncertain at least until Sunday when the next hearing for this case is scheduled.
The short-term interim order was issued in response to a writ petition filed by lawyer Jaya Bahadur Bhujel challenging his appointment as the Investment Board’s CEO.
In his writ petition, the petitioner had argued that Sushil Bhatta did not meet criteria of 10-year managerial experience as stipulated by the Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act, 2075.
However, the short-term interim order will be valid only until Sunday. The high court is scheduled to decide whether to continue its interim-order following the discussion over the petition on that hearing slated for Sunday.
Earlier on August 3, the cabinet meeting decided to appoint Bhatta, who is also a member of the National Planning Commission, as the Investment Board’s CEO. He was appointed through an open competition that included evaluation of presentations of the applicants of the post. The cabinet decided to pick Bhatta as the CEO from among three candidates proposed by the Ministry of Finance.
The Investment Board is a high-level government body chaired by the Prime Minister and serves as a central fast-track government agency established to facilitate, approve and implement projects with certain thresholds.
Though the cabinet appointed him last week, the government was yet to sworn Bhatta in as the Investment Board’s CEO.