The Supreme Court has intervened in the ongoing dispute surrounding the appointment of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) Chair, seeking a response from the government, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and the NTA itself. A single bench of Judge Prakashman Singh Raut issued this directive on Friday, as concerns regarding the appointment process continue to escalate.
The legal challenge was initiated by a group of advocates, including Ananta Raj Luintel, Pratibha Upreti, Bishal Thapa, Bikash Bhattarai, Kiritnath Sharma Poudel, Bishal Upadhyay, Rabindra Tamang, Sakuntala Bhusal, Trilok Bahadur Chand, Rajiv Bastola, and Gyanendra Raj Aran, who filed a petition at the apex court. Their contention is that the appointment violates the Constitution, existing laws, and regulations.
The petition specifically accuses the government of neglecting potential candidates who fulfill the criteria outlined in the Telecommunications Act during the application process for the chairperson position. Allegations include the preferential treatment of individuals in senior positions (10th level or above) when soliciting applications.
Furthermore, the NTA is implicated in the exclusion of individuals from the law, auditing, or management sectors, effectively denying them the opportunity to compete for the coveted position. The Supreme Court’s move to seek a response from the involved parties indicates a growing scrutiny of the appointment process, emphasizing the need for transparency and adherence to established norms in the selection of key positions within regulatory bodies.