SC summons Kantipur mgmt, editorial staff

  • contempt of court charge
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 26, 2014-

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered members of management of Kantipur Publications and editorial staff of the Kantipur daily to have their statement recorded as to why they should not be convicted in a contempt of court case.

A single bench of Justice Gopal Parajuli issued the summon to Chairman and Managing Director of  the Publications Kailash Sirohiya, Director Swastika Sirohiya, Editor-in-chief of Kantipur daily Sudheer Sharma and correspondent Ghanshyam Khadka, responding to two separate cases of contempt.  As for another defendant  Bijay Kumar Pandey,   the court has not ordered him to appear in person.

The apex court, in its order, has noted that the Publication has tried to harm the prestige of the judiciary, which is a contemptuous act. It has charged the Kantipur daily of running an “institutional mission” to defame judiciary.

The daily is trying to “weaken the judiciary and obstruct the right of ordinary citizens to access justice”, the SC has said.

In a contempt of case filed by Advocate Anjani  Kumar Pokhrel  in May last year, the petitioner has claimed that columnist Pandey’s article ‘Pad ra pahichan bich ko mahan antar’ (difference between post and posture) in his regular column Adi/Ityadi in the Kantipur daily defamed the apex court.

The column mentions the incident when a Kantipur reporter was barred from entering the SC courtroom during the hearing on a case against the nomination of Lokman Singh Karki to the post of chief of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority. The daily’s correspondent, Khadka, was barred on the grounds that he was wearing a “fancy T-shirt”.

The article says the then acting chief justice hosted a dinner in Karki’s honour on the day of his appointment. Pandey had pointed out to the ‘gradual deteriorating moral values’ in the state organs. “A meeting between the heads of two constitutional bodies is not unusual, but in the article, its context has been

distorted,” Pokhrel has claimed said in his writ.

Another contempt case was filed by Advocate Ratna Kumari Shrestha, mentioning that the news report published on the daily on June 14 and the editorial column published on June 18 defamed and scandalised the court. 

On the front page of June 14 edition of Kantipur, Khadka had written a news report on the court’s decision to release Mohan Agrawal and Chinese national Guymtso Lama, the prime accused in a gold smuggling case, on ordinary bail. In the same case, the court had ordered for detention of Om Bahadur Bajracharya, the taxi driver found transporting the contraband gold.

Published: 27-08-2014 10:33

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