The Supreme Court (SC) will record statement in the contempt of court case against Kantipur on Sunday.
Publishers and journalists of Kantipur had gone to the SC on Friday to record statement in the case. But the SC administration returned them back telling them to come on Sunday when the deadline expires.
“We had gone to register application. But they told us to come at 10:30 am on Sunday instead saying the process cannot be started today,” Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Sudheer Sharma said.
Chairman of Kantipur Media Group Kailash Sirohiya, Managing Director Swastika Sirohiya, Editor-in-Chief Sharma and correspondent Krishna Gyawali had gone to the SC on Friday to record statement. The bench for the case will be assigned after they register to inform their attendance on Sunday.
A single bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Gopal Parajuli, hearing a contempt of court case filed against Kantipur for publishing a news report titled ‘Four dates of birth of CJ Gopal Parajuli in government documents’, on February 25 had summoned the quartret to the court within 72 hours. The bench had also issued an interim order in the name of Nepal Press Council (NPC) to investigate whether Kantipur has complied with the code of conduct for the media.
There has been widespread condemnation of CJ Parajuli for hearing the case filed after publication of news reports about his date of birth. Editor-in-Chief Sharma said Kantipur will urge for change if the case is again assigned to Parajuli’s bench on Sunday.
Advocate Toya Nath Dhungana had moved the SC stating that the news report titled ‘Four dates of birth of CJ Gopal Parajuli in government documents’ is tantamount to contempt of court.
Kantipur had published the news report about four dates of birth of CJ Parajuli on February 10. It had then published a report stating Parajuli had three separate dates of birth in citizenship certificates a few days later.
Kantipur has been publishing news reports about the controversy of dates of birth, citizenship certificates and educational certificates.
Parajuli, in his order, stated that Kantipur has published misleading news report to defame the court, justices and CJ ignoring the constitution and laws of the land. “It is apparent in the first glance that the constitution and laws have been violated by publishing news reports not based on facts and truth,” the order read.
“Why should you not be punished for contempt of court? Do produce yourself to the court within three days of receiving this summon in a way that the deadline cannot be extended if you have any basis or reason for not being punished.”
CJ Parajuli also reminded the NPC to stop benefits and facilities given by the government to the journalist who has been repeatedly violating the code of conduct. It also ordered the NPC to punish Kantipur.
“Immediately exercise the rights given by the NPC Act to stop publishing of news reports that mislead the people after investigating whether the aforementioned news reports published on different dates have violated the code of conduct for journalists or not,” the interim order to NPC read.