Dr KC: Criticism of controversial judgments not contempt of court

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
Public outrage against the Supreme Court’s decision to arrest Dr KC has been overwhelming with around 100 advocates signing to plead in his defence in court

Jan 10, 2018-Dr Govinda KC, who was presented to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, defended charges levelled against him saying that criticism of “controversial judgments is not contempt of court”.

Dr KC, the professor of orthopaedics at the Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine who has staged multiple hunger strikes demanding reforms in the medical education sector, has become a symbol of struggle for reforms in a country saddled by political parties’ syndicates, which have allegedly received protection from the court.

The case of Dr KC, whose indefinite fast began on Monday, is being heard by a division bench of Justices Om Prakash Mishra and Kedar Prasad Chalise.

The public outrage against the SC’s decision to arrest Dr KC has been overwhelming while around 100 advocates including Senior Advocates Surendra Bhandari, Om Prakash Aryal and Dinesh Tripathi have signed to plead in his defence in court.

Refuting the charges of contempt of court in a statement recorded on Tuesday, Dr KC argued that the Supreme Court was involved in a slew of controversial verdicts having lasting impact on health education and other sectors of the country.

In a statement recorded before the court during a session delayed by five hours, Dr KC said he had all due respect for the judiciary although many decisions made by CJ Parajuli have discredited the judicial system. Dr KC also clarified that his statements were not meant to exude hatred against the judiciary.

“I’m aware of the charges of contempt of court. I respect the justices who perform their duties rightly,” Dr KC stated. “Speaking against justices who make unfair verdicts and act falsely results in no way in contempt. Instead, this is respecting the court.”

Dr KC also said that many orders of the apex court have favoured private medical colleges and led to low-quality human resource, affecting people’s lives. “Hence, my statements are aimed at the justices who issue unfair verdicts and not against the judiciary,” said Dr KC.

In his other statement, Dr KC has demanded probe into CJ Parajuli’s controversial records on citizenship and his date of birth.

The SC has decided to carry on with the hearing on Wednesday. The fasting doctor was taken to Bir Hospital after his statement was recorded.

“He [Dr KC] is still on a fast-unto-death protest. We want to make sure that he is under medical supervision,” said Superintendent of Police Ram Dutta Joshi, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Range, Teku.

Dr KC was taken to the apex court at 9:00 on Tuesday morning but the recording of statements began only at 2:00pm. While waiting for the proceedings, Dr KC had 

complained of unease and was allowed to have a rest on an ambulance on the court premises. 

Dr KC was arrested on Monday night from the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital premises following the SC’s order to present him before the court on Tuesday morning. He was detained at the Metropolitan Police Circle, Singha Durbar.

A single bench of Justice Dambar Bahadur Shahi had ordered the police to present Dr KC before the court claiming that his “indecent” statements had tarnished the image of the judiciary and judges.

Contempt of court was alleged after Dr KC termed the court’s decision to reinstate Dr Sashi Sharma as the IoM deal as a “systematic effort to affiliate new colleges and imperil medical education in the country”.

Published: 10-01-2018 07:47

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