Freedom Forum welcomes the Supreme Court (SC) order issued on May 30, 2011 regarding the appointment of UCPN-Maoist leader Agni Sapkota as the Minister for Information and Communications because the order has opened up avenues for putting an end to the impunity unchecked for long in the country.
The SC, in response to a writ petition, ordered Minister for Information and Communications Agni Sapkota to submit a written clarification as to why he should not be suspended from the Cabinet in view of serious charges of human rights violation against him.
Filing the writ petition in the Supreme Court, the human rights activists had demanded the suspension of Minister Sapkota from the Cabinet.
Minister Sapkota has been accused of masterminding the abduction and subsequent killing of Arjun Lama of Kavrepalanchowk district in 2005.
The appointment of a person allegedly committed such heinous crime to the Ministry to protect freedom of expression and of people has not only ridiculed government's commitment to uphold human rights but given a wrong message to the international community on rising impunity.
The human rights activists and watchdogs not only from the country but also the rights missions from abroad including the OHCHR had been expressing grave concern over the case of Maoist leader (now Information Minister) Agni Sapkota.
Sapkota was denied visa by the US Embassy in June 26, 2010 citing “serious and specific human rights allegations for his conduct during the insurgency.”
Therefore, the Supreme Court's recent order on questioning the continuity of Mr Sapkota in the Ministry is a commendable step to end impunity in Nepal. It obviously creates a precedent that none is above the law.