Concerns over censorship order

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Chief Justice Parajuli’s attempt to muzzle press draws widespread criticism from different sides

Feb 28, 2018-The interim order issued by Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli to the Press Council instructing pre-censorship of news concerning the discrepancies in his birth-date mentioned in his official documents has drawn widespread criticism from different sides.

The order that came from the bench presided by Parajuli himself on Sunday, following a series of news story about his birth-date controversy published in Kantipur daily, has been seen as an attack on free press by the advocates of democracy. Many of them took to social media to voice their concern on Tuesday. They were strident in their reactions against Parajuli’s attempt to muzzle the media. 

Former speaker of the Parliament and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Daman Nath Dhungana shared in his tweet that the freedom of judiciary is not possible without free press. “One shouldn’t have put his/her own case on his/her own bench. Should not have asked a newspaper to write something or bar something. The judiciary will remain free if there is press freedom. The freedom of judiciary isn’t possible without press freedom,” Dhungana tweeted. 

Constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya said in his tweet that press freedom and judicial freedom complement each other, and vengeful behaviour, be it from judicial or any other, should not get any space in a civilized society.

NC leader Dhan Raj Gurung questioned Parajuli whether the act of assigning the case concerning himself to his own bench constitutes as a contempt of court or not?

British Ambassador Richard Morris tweeted, “Reading papers today, worth underlining that the UK strongly believes in the value of a vibrant free press.”

Published: 28-02-2018 07:29

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