SC quashes contempt cases against Kantipur

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 3, 2017-The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed two contempt of court cases filed against Kantipur Publications and Kantipur daily, stating that the news reports and editorial published in the newspaper were very much related to court rulings and verdicts and that printing those materials “does not amount to contempt of court”.

 A division bench of Justices Bishwombar Prasad Shrestha and Sapana Pradhan Malla concluded that the news and editorial related to appointment of justices, parliamentary hearings and Lokman Singh Karki, former chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, published in the daily did not commit contempt of court.

Advocate Ratna Kumari Shrestha had filed a contempt of court case against Kantipur correspondent Ghanashyam Khadka regarding a news story about court rulings on a gold smuggling case and the paper’s Editor-in-Chief Sudheer Sharma for an editorial titled “Judicial Deviation”.

Similarly, Advocate Anjani Kumar Pokharel had filed a separate contempt of court against Kantipur Publications Chairman and Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya, Director Swastika Sirohiya and Kantipur’s Editor-in-Chief Sharma and journalist Bijay Kumar Pandey regarding the latter’s article about Karki. 

The same bench quashed the case, saying the article was “read out of context”. “Without considering the central message of the article, the petitioner’s selective section of the article cannot be interpreted as contempt of court. The article should be read in its entirety,” read the ruling. 

Senior advocates Harihar Dahal, Shambhu Thapa, Ram Krishna Nirala, advocates Tikaram Bhattarai, Madhav Basnet, Baburam Aryal, Raman Karna Ambar Raut, Prabal Sharma among others had argued on behalf of Kantipur. 

“While going through the articles and editorial, it was found that they were very much related to court verdicts and rulings. Since court rulings ultimately go to the public domain, publication of these materials does no amount to contempt of court,” the bench observed while closing the two cases that have been in the court for the last two and a half years. 

Published: 03-02-2017 07:46

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