Freedom Forum's attention has been drawn towards a news report that a contempt of court case was filed against the Kantipur daily for writing news about Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli and the subsequent order of CJ Parajuli to the Kantipur daily to appear before the court. The SC also asked the Press Council Nepal to initiate action against Kantipur daily.
The Kantipur daily had published a news story about various certificates, mentioning different dates of birth of CJ Parajuli. Against this, a contempt of court case was filed against the Kantipur daily a week back.
SC order has alarmed the media fraternity, for the order is taken to muzzle the freedom of expression and journalists' right to free reporting.
Freedom of expression and information is the fundamentally guaranteed rights by the Constitution of Nepal 2015. As the independent judiciary, free press is equally important pillar of democracy. The Constitution also mentions that no publication would be banned.
To this, Executive Chief, Mr Taranath Dahal, observes, "As the FoE and information are fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, it is necessary for the Judiciary to maintain restraint. In democracy, healthy criticism by media is natural and normal. So, it needs to be tolerated. The harmony and respect each other among judiciary and media are essential to ensure functional democracy."