Kathmandu june 22-The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to the government asking for clarification over the detention of Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel. Deciding on a writ petition filed on Sunday, a SC bench ordered the government to furnish a written reply within three days on Poudel’s detention. The writ petition filed on Sunday had argued that Poudel, a former deputy prime minister, was being detained illegally. Poudel is detained in his hometown Damauli, Tanahun district.
Case filed against top Maoist leaders
Kathmandu june 22-The government on Tuesday has filed cases at the Appellate Court, Lalitpur, against a dozen Maoist functionaries including Maoist chairman Prachanda and Ram Bahadur Thapa alias Badal. Badal is said to be one of the military strategists of the underground outfit that is waging an armed rebellion for the last nine years. According to reports, a government attorney has made top Maoist leaders defendants in nearly 18-months-old case in which two security personnel were killed in a landmine explosion at Fisling of Chitwan district. A Maoist activist, Ram Bahadur Kumal—said to be involved in the attack-- was also arrested. The government has demanded life sentence and seizure of property of Maoist leaders in the case filed under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act. Authorities say similar cases remain pending in various courts of the country. The government had withdrawn a number of cases against top Maoist leaders during the failed peace talks with the insurgents in early 2003.
Petition on National Broadcasting Act filed
Kathmandu june 22- A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court seeking scrapping of a clause in the National Broadcasting Act (NBA), which contradicts the spirit of the constitution on press freedom. According to the petition filed by advocate Narayan Dutta Kandel, clause 8 (1) of the National Broadcasting Act, which gives power to the authorities to cancel the operating license of broadcasters who air programs in contravention to this Act goes against Article 13 of the constitution. The article guarantees that no publication shall be closed or seized, and registration shall not be cancelled, merely for publishing any news item, article or other reading material. The writ petitioner has argued that though this provision is directly related to the press, it is also applicable to the electronic media since the apex court has already ruled that electronic media is entitled to enjoy the same freedom enjoyed by the print media. "Thus Clause 8 (1) of the Act is against Article 13 of the Constitution, and the court should issue an order scrapping the provision in the Act," the writ petitioner has argued. The writ petition has been filed in the court a week after the government issued a notice to FM operators warning that operating license of those FMs airing news would be cancelled. The news ban is effective since the February 1 royal takeover, causing economic loss to FM stations and many journalists who lost their jobs. The ban has drawn condemnation from journalists, lawyers and other sections of civil society. But the government has been turning a deaf ear to the growing demand to lift the news ban on FM radios.