Rabi Lamichhane Becomes Stateless

Rabi Lamichhane Becomes Stateless

Jan. 28, 2023, 8:39 a.m.

Chairperson of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), Rabi Lamichhane has turned stateless with today's decision of the Supreme Court (SC).

He turned to be stateless when the apex court did not recognize the citizenship he used in the election time. He has lost the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the RSP after he became stateless.

The SC verdict claimed there was no dispute in his act on renouncing the US citizenship in 2018 but he did not pay attention in retaining citizenship by completing the process after returning Nepal.

According to Assistant Attorney General, Sanjeeb Raj Regmi, the apex court has concluded that Lamichhane was not found completing the due process for retaining citizenship to become the Nepali citizen though he had terminated the US citizenship.

He further said, "After giving up the citizenship, Lamichhane had to submit an application to the Chief District Officer requesting for re-acquisition of the citizenship after returning Nepal. But, the process was not duly followed", he said, adding that his earlier citizenship was retained if the process was completed.

The SC has concluded that Lamichahne was not qualified to become the candidate for the member of the House of Representatives for not completing the process for retaining citizenship.

Senior Advocate Dr Chandrakanta Gywali said the apex court concluded that Lamichahne did a procedural error in claiming the citizenship. "He was no more a Nepali citizen in the situation he was still the US citizen. After renouncing foreign citizenship he had to complete a process for re-obtaining Nepali citizenship which includes submission of an application with the evidence of renouncement", Gyawali said. "Once the process was over, his previous citizenship would have been retained. This is a simple process, also does not take time. Law has not adopted any policy to leave any citizen stateless", the senior advocate further said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Lamichhane has announced his resignation from the post, respecting the apex court decision. He tendered his resignation noting that it was not appropriate to remain any positions in the stateless status.

According to the legal provision, his citizenship can be retained after he submitted an application for requisition of the citizenship in Nepal with evidence of renouncement of the foreign citizenship.

It may be noted that the apex court has annulled Lamichhane's post of lawmaker today. The constitutional bench of Supreme Court issued the verdict to this regard after hearing the case on Lamichhane's acquisition of Nepali citizenship and the US passport.

The verdict read, "After giving up the US citizenship, Lamichhane was not found adhering to the legal process to acquire the Nepali citizenship again. So, he did not deserve to be the candidate of the member of House of Representatives nor could hold the lawmaker's post. With this, a certiorari order is issued as per Article 133 (b and c) and Article 137 of Constitution of Nepal by scrapping all activities as making Lamichhane an election candidate, announcing his election victory, and conferring him the certificate."

‘I welcome SC’s verdict’: Rabi Lamichhane

Rabi Lamichhane, who lost the posts of lawmaker and Home Minister after the verdict of the Supreme Court, has said he would welcome SC decision.

Responding to queries of media persons while exiting from Home Ministry after SC’s verdict on Friday, Lamichhane shared there was not any higher body than the Supreme Court, s0 he welcomed the SC's verdict.

“I welcome the SC’s verdict," he reiterated, wondering, "In other questions, what can a non-citizen respond." Lamichhane further said, “You are asking questions to a non-citizen. I don’t know whom the question is being asked.”

Lamichhane lost both posts of minister and lawmaker after the SC determined him guilty in the case of citizenship row.

A constitutional bench of Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki, and Justices—Bishwombhar Shrestha, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Anil Kumar Sinha- decided Lamichhane a guilty. (RSS)

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