Judge orders to submit all sub judice contempt news

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 3, 2014-

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered its administration to compile the news articles, editorials, and opinion pieces about the court and justices published in the Kantipur daily after April 22, and present it before the court within five days.  

The order comes in response to the contempt charge filed on June 25 by Advocate Ratna Kumari Shrestha against the daily’s Editor-in-Chief Sudheer Sharma and correspondent Ghanshyam Khadka.

A single bench of Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana also ordered the court administration to submit the report on previous contempt case against Editor Sharma; Chairman and Managing Director of Kantipur Publications Kailash Sirohiya; Director Swastika Sirohiya; and columnist Bijay Kumar Pandey.

In May 2013, Advocate Anjani Kumar Pokharel had lodged the contempt case, claiming that Pandey’s opinion piece titled “Pad ra pahichan bich ko mahan antar” (Difference between post and posture) had defamed SC. The case is still sub judice. “Though earlier plaint had missed the due date, the case can be heard again,” said Baburam Dahal, assistant spokesperson for SC.

In the latest contempt case against Sharma and Khadka, the plaintiff has claimed two instances of contempt—news article by Khadka on June 14, and the editorial column published on June 18. In his news article, Khadka had mentioned the court’s decision to release Mohan Agrawal and Guymtso Lama, the prime accused in a gold smuggling case, on ordinary bail, and detain Om Bahadur Bajra-charya, the taxi driver who was transporting the gold.

The division bench of Justices Gopal Parajuli and Cholendra Shumsher Rana—the judge who is adjudicating the contempt case—had also ordered Bajracharya to post a bail amount of Rs 1 million, according to the news article.   

The plaintiff has claimed that the news report the concept of independent judiciary, and she has accused Khadka of defaming the court’s verdict.   

Similarly, making her case against Editor Sharma, Shrestha has mentioned in her writ application that the editorial column, published on June 18 about the proposed Bill on contempt of court titled Abhibyakti Swantantratamathi Prahar (An attack on freedom of expression), was written with the intent of influencing the proposed Bill.

Published: 04-07-2014 08:51

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