Hearing begins

  • SC arraigns only publishers and journalists of Kantipur daily
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 18, 2014-

The Supreme Court began hearing on contempt of court case against Kantipur Publications on Thursday. Two contempt charges have been brought against the Publications, one in May, 2013 and the other in June this year-both claiming that materials published in Kantipur daily defamed and scandalised judiciary.  

Publications Chairman and Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya, Director Swastika Sirohiya, Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Sudheer Sharma, correspondent Ghanshyam Khadka and former columnist Bijay Kumar Pandey are defendants in the two cases.

A division bench of Justices Gopal Parajuli and Cholendra Shumsher Rana, however, did not hear the case concerning Pandey. In Thursday’s hearing, the lawyers for the defendants questioned the bench why Pandey’s case was placed with others. In reply, the bench said that it intends to begin the hearing concerning the publishers and journalists of Kantipur daily, even if Pandey’s case was not there.

On August 26, Justice Parajuli had ordered Pandey to furnish a written explanation, but arraigned other four defendants. The order against the latter was overruled by a joint bench presided by Chief Justice Damodar Sharma on September 12, and directed the defendants to furnish written explanations within five days.

In May 2013, Advocate Anjani Kumar Pokhrel had filed a contempt case against the Publications, claiming that an article by columnist Pandey had defamed the apex court.

Advocate Ratna Kumari Shrestha had filed another contempt case against Kantipur on June 25. Shrestha has mentioned that the news report published on the daily on June 14 and the editorial column published on June 18 scandalised the court. The contempt case filed by Advocate Shrestha raises objection against the news article written by defendant Khadka concerning a verdict in a gold smuggling case that was issued by Justices Parajuli and Rana, who also happen to be the arbiters in the contempt case.

It is internationally held that one should not sit as the judge at the trial if he or she is also involved in the case. But in the contempt case against the Publications, Justices Parajuli and Rana are the adjudicators.

Published: 19-09-2014 09:22

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