Kantipur to submit replies within 5 days

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 12, 2014-

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered Kantipur Publications to furnish explanations in writing within five days—by September 17—in a contempt of court case. The date for next hearing is scheduled for September 18.

A division bench of Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma and Justice Om Prakash Mishra stated that the reply would be treated as equivalent to the statement of the defendants.

All the four defendants—Chairman and Managing Director of the publications Kailash Sirohiya, Director Swastika Sirohiya, Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur daily Sudheer Sharma, and reporter Ghanshyam Khadka—will have to submit their replies in person.

In reference to formulating the working procedure relating to the conduct of the case, Chief Justice Sharma, who presided over the hearing, suggested that defendants furnish their reply instead of having to come and record statements.

In the contempt of court case, working procedures are formulated by the concerned bench.

“Recording of statements may take time as we have previous experience of such recordings going up to 15 days. Also, the initial order issued by the court has questions which will take time to answer,” said Sharma, adding that the defendants, if asked to record statements in court, would need time for consultation to answer those questions.

Echoing Sharma, Justice Mishra said the bench would like to make the proceedings easier for both the defendants and the court. The bench had allowed the lawyers of defendants to consult with their party regarding the provision of allowing them to submit written replies.

The hearing in the case had been deferred twice earlier when the defendants were present before the court to record their statements. The apex court on August 26 had directed the defendants to appear before it in person and explain why they should not be convicted in a contempt of court case. The publications had received the court notice on September 5.

Responding to two separate contempt charges, a single bench of Justice Gopal Parajuli had issued the summons. In its 11-page initial order, the court has charged the Kantipur daily with running an “institutional mission” to tarnish the image of the court.

Published: 13-09-2014 08:42

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