Nepal’s Supreme Court Monday ordered the government not to implement a recent agreement signed with India on upgrading the immigration system at the capital city’s international airport and setting up immigration offices in two border towns.
A day ahead of the visit of India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, a single-judge bench of Justice Tarka Raj Bhatta issued the stay order on setting up Indian immigration check-posts at Pashupatinagar and Lumbini.
A home secretary-level meeting between the two countries last month had reached the agreement regarding upgrading of the immigration system at Tribhuvan, the country’s only international airport, and setting up Indian immigration offices in the two border towns.
The minutes of the home secretary-level meeting that concluded in Kathmandu June 1 said: “The Indian side proposed to establish immigration check points at Lumbini and Pashupatinagar. The Nepalese side agreed to it in principle and would officially respond through the diplomatic channel.”
The meeting also agreed to the modernisation of the immigration system at the airport.
The Supreme Court was moved by petitioner Shree Prasad Pandit last week against the proposals.
Pandit termed the move an “attempt to violate national sovereignty” of Nepal.
He said that as per the previous Supreme Court order, any such move would require approval of parliament, and that the court should issue an order to the government not to move ahead with the proposal unless it is ratified by parliament.
The bench justified the stay order, saying there was a need for the apex court’s intervention.