Leading media house and highest Judiciary of Nepal at loggerheads

Team SoOLEGAL 5 Mar 2018 8:15pm

Leading media house and highest Judiciary of Nepal at loggerheads

Chief Justice of the Nepalese Supreme Court,  Gopal Prasad Parajuli has charged Kantipur Daily, a daily belonging to leading Nepalese media house-Kantipur publications  with  contempt of court for writing  in a series  of article in the daily and other sister publications accusing him of giving different date of births on different documents to prolong his stay as Chief Justice.

International Federation of Journalists has called this move as an attempt to 'gag press'.

Only last year the group was exonerated with the contempt as they accused Parajuli of rape charge before he became Chief Justice. The then Chief Justice was known to be against the incumbent and gave the case to a bench which was said to be against Parajuli.

The Chief Justice Parajuli has summoned Publication Chairman Kailash Sirohiya, his wife and Director Swasatika Sirohiya, along with Kantipur Daily editor-in-chief and a reporter to appear in person to face contempt charges.

“No media is immune from contempt proceedings as the Constitution has a clear provision about it,” said a source in the Supreme Court.

According to Sudheer Sharma, editor-in-chief of Kantipur Daily “We have not written against the Chief Justice or the judiciary, but about a person in public life who has obtained multiple citizenships with different birth dates to acquire a post,” and such a person should be held accountable for the institution that he heads.“By hearing the against himself, Chief Justice Parajuli has made a mockery of the justice system,” said a Kantipur editorial last week.

Kantipur publications is the biggest media house of the country and gets 70% of government advertisements.Only last week SC had asked govt to draft guidelines which could lead to fair distribution among all the media houses.  

Incidentally, the International Commission of Jurists, in which a former Supreme Court Chief Justice of Nepal, who was at loggerheads with Parajuli, is a member, also issued a statement asking the Supreme Court to drop the contempt proceedings.

 But media itself is a divided house.There is criticism of Kantipur Publications as they are being said to be flexing muscles.Just a A month ago, a chief of Thaha Sanchar media group, Ajaya Sumargo, accused the Kantipur group of slander after it published articles accusing him of money laundering.

Tagged: Nepalese SC   Nepalese Chief Justice   Kantipur Publications   Contempt of court  
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