SC stays govt decision to declare restricted zones

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday has issued an interim order instructing the government to not implement the decision of declaring Maitighar Mandala and other places as restricted zones and allotting places for protest.

Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi on Thursday had moved the Apex Court demanding that the decision of government to declare restricted zones and places for protests in Kathmandu be revoked.

A single bench of Justice Ishwore Khatiwada hearing the writ petition on Friday has ordered to not implement the decision until July 13. Communication expert at the SC Kishore Paudel said both the petitioner and the government have been summoned for hearing on July 13. The court will decide whether to give continuity to the order or not after the hearing on that day.

Tripathi had moved the court arguing that the government’s decision to declare restricted zones and places for protest violates the citizens’ fundamental rights for peaceful assembly enshrined in the constitution.

“The decision to suddenly declare the major places for assembly in Kathmandu, where protest programs and rallies have been organized without any hindrance until now, as restricted zones seems to be against the constitutional provision allowing peaceful assembly of citizens at the very first glance,” Tripathi had argued in his petition.

“Exercise of fundamental rights has been deemed to be a criminal act attempting to criminalize that. This is objectionable. Punishing the citizens for peacefully exercising fundamental rights and freedom cannot be accepted in a civilized and democratic country. This has hijacked our fundamental rights and freedom.”

The government had picked Open Air Theater in Tundikhel, the open space in Tinkune, Koteshwore, Bhuinkhel Chaur, Bhagwan Pau, playground in Pepsicola, Sano Gaucharan Football Ground, open space in front of the Social Welfare Council in Laichaur, ground in Siphal and Gaushala as the places for protest and demonstrations inside Kathmandu district, and declared the remaining places as restricted zones.

The government had also similarly declared restricted zones across the court.



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