Monday, October 31, 2005

SC adjourns hearing until Sunday

Kathmandu, Oct 31-The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on a number of cases against the recently promulgated media ordinance that has imposed fresh curbs on the independent media.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel, Kedar Giri and Sarada Prasad Pandit decided to postpone the hearing until Sunday considering the Tihar holidays.

In today’s hearing, former Bar Association President Hari Har Dahal, former Attorney General Badri Bahadur Karki and advocates Tika Ram Bhattarai, Yagya Murti Banjade and Gopal Siwakoti Chintan pleaded on behalf of the petitioners. They presented arguments in favour of three separate writ petitions demanding an interim order halting the implementation of the ‘unconstitutional’ media ordinance.

During the hearing, lawyers said the government’s new ordinance contradicts the 1990 Constitution.
Pleading on behalf of the petitioners, lawyers accused the government of curbing the fundamental rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution.

Three separate petitions filed were tabled on the bench today and yesterday. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) case was filed against the media ordinance on October 21 by advocates Rabi raj Bhandari and Kahar Singh Khadka while nine professional organisations had brought a case on October 23. Similarly, a writ petition was registered at the apex court by the management of Kantipur FM, a private sector FM radio station, against the government after the latter raided the FM station on October 21 and took away equipment.

The lawyers also pleaded for the annulment of the controversial ordinance and the return of Kantipur FM's equipment seized during the mid-night raid.

The new press law and the government action have drawn condemnation from almost all quarters in the country as well as the international community.

The court is yet to start recording statement from the defendants’ side.

70 Houses in Sarlahi Looted

Sarlahi, Oct 31-A group of armed dacoits last night looted cash and other valuables worth Rs 1.4 million from 70 houses at Shiva Nagar Basti of Padariya VDC in Sarlahi district. Four locals were injured when the dacoits hit them with batons during the looting spree.

The dacoits blocked all roads to Shiva Nagar Basti, which is 9 km north of the district headquarters Mangalawa, between 11 pm to 3 am, said Satya Narayan Rai, outgoing vice-chairman of the VDC.
Shivaji Baitha, Bhagya Narayan Bharati and Sanjeev Kumar Yadav of Ward No 6 and Shankar Shah Teli of Ward No 9 were injured when the dacoits beat them up with bamboo batons for refusing to give them the keys of cupboards.

Health assistant at the District Health Office, Saroj Kumar Yadav, who reached the place to celebrate Tihar and Chhath Parva, said, “The dacoits took away all the money I had saved from my salary.”
He said the dacoits were masked.

Local youth Rakesh Kumar Bharati said the dacoits had carried axe, khukuri, hammer and other weapons.
SP at the District Police Office, Manohar Rimal, said the locals did not inform the police about the incident on time though telephone service is available in the village.

85 persons to be penalised over NBL loan irregularities news update

Former Nepal Bank MD, seven other ex-officials, businessmen sentenced

The Special Court today convicted 85 persons, including some former high-ranking officials of the Nepal Bank Limited, in four separate cases filed by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) five years ago.
A three-member panel of Special Court Judges Govinda Prasad Parajuli, Rana Bahadur Bam and Bhoopdhoj Adhikary convicted former managing director of Nepal Bank Limited, Sher Bahadur Thapa, along with other former bank officials and businessmen of misappropriating millions in four bank dealings. The CIAA had sought the court’s order in recovering Rs 530 million from the 142 accused.

Thapa, one of the main accused, was handed down a sentence of eight years in jail in four separate cases. He was given two-year terms in each of the cases and was asked to pay a total fine of Rs 20,000. The bench also directed him to repay all the embezzled amount if the other convicted officials failed to repay their share.

The court also convicted businessmen from the Acharya, Shahani, Gadtaula and Malla groups in the scam. Some businessmen of the Acharya group were convicted for amassing Rs 210 million, Shahani group for Rs 190 million, Gadtaula group for Rs 96 million and Malla group for Rs 20 million.
The CIAA had filed a corruption case against the persons charging them of misappropriating a whopping Rs 530 millions in four scams. The court handed down two and three-year jail terms on former bank officials Purusottam Prasad Shrestha and Uttam Kumar Nepal respectively, one-year-terms on Mahanta Bahadur Maharjan, Shahi Kiran Shrestha and Ambar Kumar Khadka, 2-year-term on Rajani Lochan Prasad Tandukar and six-months term on Krishna Prasad Karanjit. Thirty-six other former officials were fined.

Convicted businessmen Rosan Man Joshi, Pradeep Neupane, Bishworam Shrestha, Narendra Mehar Shrestha, Purnaman Sharma Dawadi, Lok Bahadur Shrestha, Isworman Shrestha, Bijaya Prasad Lohani, Keshav Prasad Bhattarai, Mahanta Bahadur Maharjan and Ishworman Joshi were directed by the court to pay back the amount they had amassed.

The court also ordered businessmen Prakash Manandhar, Tirtha Narayan Maharjan, Narendraraj Bhattarai, Keshav Lal Shrestha, Madan Prasad Dhungel, Indira Gurung, and Mohan Shahani, to repay the amount they had taken. The bench further imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each on them.Other businessmen convicted in the cases are Mahendra Gadtaula, Purusottam Prasad Shrestha, Binod Shrestha, Durga Dutta Pandey, Shanti Shrestha, Prakash Rana Balananda Chaudhari and Pradip Man Tuladhar. However, some accused, including Dr prafulla Man Karmacharya, Mukunda Prasad Aryal, Prof Dr Bishwambher Pyakuryal, Dharendra Sumsher Rana, Gopi Lal Shrestha, Bhawani Devi Sharma and Diwakar Kumar Adhikary, were given a clean chit.

Special Court Convicts 200 in Bank Loan Scam

Kathmandu, Oct 30-The Special Court today convicted about 200 people including some former high-ranking officials of the Nepal Bank Limited in four separate corruption cases.

A three-member panel of the Special Court judges including Govinda Prasad Parajuli, Rana Bahadur Bam and Bhoopdhoj Adhikary passed the verdict convicting former managing director of the bank, Sher Bahadur Thapa, and others on charges of irregularities while releasing loan from the bank. Thapa is one of the man accused of the cases and he has been slapped eight years jail term in four separate cases. On each case he would face jail for two years along with Rs 20,000 fine.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed the corruption cases against them five years ago, seeking forfeit of Rs 530 million from the accused. The bench ordered the accused to recover the amassed amount. Some of them have been jailed for a year. Thapa, who was the main investor, is convicted along with separate business groups for releasing loan to business parties illegally. The bank incurred a heavy loss due to his inappropriate decision.

Krishna Bahadur Karanjit, Rosan Man Joshi, Pradeep Neupane, Bishworam Shrestha, Narendra Mehar Shrstha, Purnaman Sharma Dawadi, Lok Bahadur Shrestha, Isworman Shrestha, Mohan Shahani, Mahendra Gadtaula, Purusottam Prasad Shrestha and Prakash Manandar Binod have been convicted among others.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hearing on Media Ordinance Case to Continue Tomorrow

Kathmandu, Oct 30- full bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and justices Kedar Prasad Giri and Sarada Prasad Pandit today started hearing on separate writ petitions filed against the recently promulgated media ordinance.

Pleading on behalf of the petitioners, constitutional expert Purna Man Shakya, lawyers Chandra Gyawali, Kumar Regmi, Madhav Kumar Basnet, Dhurba Lal Shrestha, Kahar Singh Khadka, Madhav Kumar Basnet and Ravi Raj Bhandari presented their arguments before the bench in today’s hearing. The hearing will continue tomorrow.

They claimed that the ordinance was promulgated in an arbitrary manner and that it contradicts with the spirit of the 1990 Constitution. The also demanded the apex court to continue the stay order it issued on Thursday in the Kantipur FM case.

Government lawyers, including Attorney General Pawan Kumar Ojha, will present their arguments tomorrow.

Advocates Ravi Raj Bhandari and Kahar Singh Khadka, Kaptipur Publications and six professional organizations had filed three separate petitions at the Supreme Court in different dates seeking apex court order to nullify the ordinance.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Government action against Kantipur FM illegal: NHRC

Kathmandu, Oct. 29-The National Human Rights Commission has said that the government's action against Kantipur FM was unconstitutional and illegal and urged the government to return the equipments seized from the Kantipur FM on October 21.

The NHRC report, after days of investigation, states the government has violated Articles 14, 17 and 22 of the Constitution and Articles 9, 14 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right though the government is a signatory to the accord.

A statement issued by the NHRC on Friday said that the NHRC said it had drawn the conclusion following conflicting claims by both parties — the government and the Kantipur FM officials.

The NHRC stated it had found that Kantipur FM had been airing news after acquiring a license from the government and even the recently promulgated Media Ordinance also permits airing of news if the government has already granted the license. "It has been found that Kantipur FM was not given appropriate time to clarify its position, " the statement said

The national rights body also urged the government to respect the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and to protect the life, property and freedom of speech and expression of journalists.

“The government did not follow provisions required by Sections 116 and 172 of the Court Management Chapter of the Civil Code while conducting the raid on the FM station at night,” the NHRC said.

The government authorities took away key equipment used to uplink the FM’s transmission to Bhedetar station in the eastern region on October 21, saying it was airing program defying recently promulgated ordinance, which prohibits to air program from different locations at the same time

CIAA files case over irrigation project forgery

Kathmandu, Oct. 29-The Commission for Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed cases at the Special Court against five persons of the mid-western region Irrigation Development Office for misappropriating around Rs. 300,000 by making forged papers.

In the case, the CIAA has claimed that they had made forged bills on the repair and maintenance of the Bhandakharka Irrigation Project at Jhula VDC of Rukum district.

Those alleged are: chief at the No. 1 sub-division office at Rukum, Binay Kumar Gami, overseer Bindeshwore Shah, accountant Sanu Narayan Adhikary, fieldman Kul Bahadur Bhandari and chairman of the consumers’ committee at Jhula Tanka Bahadur Shahi.

Four of them have been presented at the court along with the case and Tanka Bahadur Shahi is absconding.

The Commission has charged overseer Shah of making estimates without going to the field based on the report fieldman Bhandari, who, too, had not reached the site.

They had misappropriated Rs. 289,664 by presenting reports based on forged bills.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Full text of the Ordinance Amending some of the Nepal Acts Related to Media, 2005


Whereas it is expedient to amend some of the Nepal Act related to media; and

As there is no session of parliament at present;

Be this ordinance enacted by His Majesty the King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in accordance with Article 72 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990.

1. Short Title and Commencement

1. (1) This ordinance is named ‘Ordinance amending some of the Nepal Act related to Media, 2005’.

2. (2) This ordinance shall come into force immediately.

2. Amendment in Radio Act 2014:

Proviso of Section 3 of Radio Act 2014 has been replaced with following proviso,

‘but any person obtaining license for operating telecommunication services in accordance with Telecommunication Act 2053 or any customer utilizing telecommunication services through that licensed person; or any person or organized institution with permission or license in accordance with National Broadcasting Act 2049 for broadcasting any program through satellite, cable or any other means; establishing frequency modulation broadcasting system for broadcasting educational, entertainment and informative programs; establishing satellite station for program broadcasting, or customers utilizing broadcast services through licensed person or institution is not required to obtain license in accordance with this Act for installing, using or making telecommunication or radio broadcasting equipments.’

3. Amendment in National News Agency Act, 2019:

National News Agency Act has been amended as follows:

1. Subsection ‘5(a)’ has been added after Subsection 5 of Section 30 as follows.

‘5(a)’: Anyone collecting or disseminating news violating Section 32 shall be fined up to Rs. 500,000.00

2. Subsection 2 of Section 32 has been replaced with following:

(2) News agencies pursuant to Subsection (1) can disseminate their news throughout kingdom of Nepal obtaining permission from His Majesty’s Government.

Provided that, there is no need to obtain permission from His Majesty’s Government for disseminating news to Agency.

4. Amendment in Press and Publication Act 2048

Press and Publication Act 2048 has been amended as follows:

1. (1) In Section 14

(a) The words "His Majesty’s" in clause ‘a’ has been replaced with "His Majesty’s and members of royal family"

(b) following ‘c(i)’ has been added after Clause (c)

‘c(i)’: ‘discouraging acts that are deemed criminal as per existing laws’

1. (2) In Subsection (1) of Section 16

(a) words "anything prohibited for publication pursuant to Section 14 and 15, news, information or any material, or" has been added

(b) Clause (d) has been replaced with following Clause (d)

‘(c)’: "Promoting or assisting Terrorist, terrorism and destructive activities"

(d) Clause (b) and (e) have been omitted.

(3) Words "fine up to Rs. 10,000.00" has been replaced with "fine up to Rs. 100,000.00" in Section 27

(4) Words "fine up to Rs. 5,000.00" from different places of Section 28 has been replaced with "fine up to 50,000.00"

(5) Words "fine up to Rs. 5,000.00" has been replaced with "fine up to 50,000.00" in Section 29

(6) Words "fine up to Rs. 5,000.00" has been replaced with "fine up to 50,000.00" in Section 30

5. Amendment in Press Council Act, 2048

In Clause (d) of Subsection (2) of Section (12) of Press council Act 2048, "or his Press Representative Certificate or Temporary Press Representative Certificate shall be cancelled" have been added after "complete prohibition".

6. Amendment in National Broadcasting Act 2049

Following amendments have been made in National Broadcasting Act 2049:

(1) "or Television" have been omitted from Clause (c) of Section (2)

(2) "news-based programs" have been replaced with "informative programs" in Section (5) and following explanation have been added.

Explanation: For this Section "informative programs" denotes any programs on health, education, population, environment, weather, road transportation or related with any development activities with an objective of promoting information and public awareness.

(3) Section 6(a) has been added after Section (6).

'6(a)': (1) Notwithstanding anything written in this Act or elsewhere in existing laws any person or organization will not be provided license or certificate of radio,

television and publication either at once or time by time.

(2) Notwithstanding anything written in this Act or elsewhere in existing laws, if any person or organisation has obtained license or certificate of radio, television and publication prior to commencement of this Section, such person or organisation has to opt for any two among radio, television and publication within a year from the commencement of this Section and the remaining third should be managed to broadcast or publish by separate person, institution or management.

(3) His Majesty's Government shall revoke the license of radio or television broadcasting if any person or organization with license or certificate for radio, television or publication does not opt for any two or do not make arrangement of separate person, organization or management for broadcasting or publication within the duration pursuant to Subsection (2).

(4) The words "institutions or joint venture with domestic or foreign person or" contained in Section 9 (1) are omitted.

(5) Following Section 11(a) has been added after Section 11.

'11(a)': Not to broadcast programmes from another place without permission: Any broadcasting institution shall not broadcast its' program simultaneously from other than one place without obtaining permission from His Majesty's Government.

(6) Section 15 has been replaced with following Section 15.

(15) Shall not Broadcast: No one shall broadcast any materials containing following matters:

a. Subject matters with negative effects to political parties.

b. offensive matters.

c. any matters with the objectives to revolt against government by using violence.

d. any matters creating unreasonable horror and terror in public.

e. any matters, which misinterpret, dishonor, humiliate or dominate to any cast, ethnicity, religion or culture.

f. any matters, which discriminate, dishonor, humiliate or dominate any caste on the basis of area of habitat.

g. any matters against to nonaligned foreign policy of Nepal.

h. any matters or material prohibited for publication pursuant to existing laws.

(7) "fine up to Rs. 10,000.00 " has been replaced with "fine up to Rs. 100,000.00" in Subsection (2) of the Section 17.

7. Amendment in Defamation Act, 2016:

Of the Defamation Act, 2016-

(1) The words "if published" have been replaced with "If published or broadcast" in Section 3.

(2) Section 5 is replaced with following Section 5.

'(5)': Punishment for defamation or defamatory broadcasting or publication:

(1) Anyone defaming any other person shall be liable for fine up to Rs. 50,000.00 and imprisonment up to one year.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-Section (1) anyone broadcasting or publishing any defamatory matter through any electronic or other means of mass communication deliberately, or with reasonable cause to believe the occurrence of defamation shall be fined with

Rs. 100,000.00 to Rs. 500,000.00 or up to 2 year imprisonment or both."

(3) The words "printed or inscribed" contained in several places of Section 6 have been replaced with "published or broadcast" and the words "fine up to Rs. 100.00" have been replaced with the words "fine up to Rs. 50,000.00 ".

(4) The words "fine from Rs. 100.00 to Rs. 500.00" have been replaced with "fine up to Rs. 50,000.00".

(5) The words "fine from Rs. 100.00 to Rs. 500.00" have been replaced with "fine up to Rs. 50,000.00".

(6) The words "fine from Rs. 500.00 to 5,000.00" have been replaced with "fine up to Rs. 50,000.00" and "fine from Rs. 100.00 to Rs. 1,000.00" is replaced with "fine up to Rs. 100,000.00".

(Unofficial translation of the Ordinance published in the Nepal Gazette on October 9, 2005)

SC Issues Show Cause Notice to Home Minister

Kathmandu, Oct 28-The Supreme Court today ordered Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi to submit explanations why the government detained Rajendra Phuyal even after an SC order to free him a week ago.
A division bench of justices Khil Raj Regmi and Gauri Dhakal had issued the order following today's hearing in a case filed in the SC demanding Phuyal’s release.

The bench also ordered Shahi to submit his explanation by coming Monday. The bench ordered the government authorities including the headquarters of the Royal Nepalese Army and the Police Headquarters to produce Phuyal before the court on Monday in order to facilitate the court examine the case.

Court Extends Maoist Student Leader’s Custody

Kathmandu, Oct 28-The Patan Appellate Court today granted permission to the Kathmandu District Police Office (KDPO) to detain former vice-chairman of the Maoist-aligned student union, ANNISU-R, Krishna KC, in judicial custody for the next 12 days.

A divison bench of justices Krishna Prasasd Shrehstha and Hari Babu Bhattarai gave the permission following today's hearing. The KDPO had sought 25 days detention for KC in order to conduct investigation into the charges against him.

Pleading on behalf of KC, senior advocate Bishwo Kanta Mainali sought the court order to the authorities not to detain KC without any charge. He had also demanded the court finish the investigation and prosecution soon if there was any charges against him or release him as per the order of the Supreme Court a month ago.

SC puts off hearing on Deuba, Singh cases

Kathmandu , Oct. 28- The Supreme Court has postponed the hearing on two separate writ petitions of habeas corpus on former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and former minister Prakash Man Singh, till the final decision of the special bench on the case related to legality of the Royal Commission for Control of Corruption (RCCC) is made public.

The special bench comprising chief justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and justices Sharada Shrestha and Tap Bahadur Magar today issued the order to produce the writs with a copy of the final decision of the special bench, as there is a subjudice case at the court related with RCCC.

Meanwhile, the court today fixed November 13 as the date of hearing on the case related to the legality of the RCCC. Advocates Sarbagya Raj Naya and Binod Karki had filed the writ petitions seeking immediate release of Deuba and Singh. Last month a division bench had referred the case to the special bench. Deuba and Singh are behind bars for the last seven months as per the RCCC’s order on corruption case while awarding contract of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

SC Issues Stay Order on Kantipur FM Case

Kathmandu, Oct 27-The Supreme Court today ordered the government not to initiate any action against Kantipur FM regarding the cancellation of its licence for airing news.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and justices Sarada Shrestha and Top Bahadur Magar ordered the government not to implement the letter of the Ministry of Information and Communications issued yesterday.

In the short-term interlocutory stay order, the bench told the government not to go ahead towards cancelling the licence of the Kantipur FM until October 30 when the hearing would be conducted on whether or not to issue a full-fledged stay order on Kantipur FM case and on the recently promulgated media ordinance case.

Early today, the Kantipur FM had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the government's move to revoke its licence.

Managing Director of the FM, Binod Raj Gyawali, today filed a writ petition seeking the apex court order to stay the government's warning to shut down his FM station. He sought the apex court stay order against the letter issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications yesterday giving 24-hour ultimatum to furnish explanation on why not to take action against it (Kantipur FM) for airing news. The memo threatened that if the explanation furnished was not satisfactory, the government could revoke its licence.
The apex court has scheduled the hearing for this afternoon.

On Monday, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel's single bench had declined to issue stay order on the government's action against it. He, however, had called the lawyers to move the SC if the government took action against any FM station. The SC had issued a show cause against the government authorities on why they had seized Kantipur’s equipment linking the regional broadcasting from Bhedetar of Dhankuta district.

The petition sought the apex court stay order against the letter issued by the Ministry yesterday giving 24-hour ultimatum to furnish explanation on why not to take action against it (Kantipur FM) for airing news. The memo threatened that if the explanation furnished was not satisfactory, the government could revoke its licence.

Another re-arrest
Pokhara, Oct 27 -Violating Appellate court order, plainclothes security personnel, on Wednesday, re-arrested Shughare Nepali , who was released from detention at the Court premises.
Lawyers and human rights defenders, who had gone there to receive Shughare Nepali to take safe place by moterbike, was stopped by police and took Shughare Nepali by taxi .Lawyers and human rights defenders were physically assaulted by the security men.
In the incident,some lawyers and human rights defender are injured
Responding to a habeas corpus writ petition filed , the Appellate court pokhara , justice Mohan parsad gimira and Hari parasd gimire had ruled that Shughare Nepali was detained "illegally" and that he be immediately released in the presence of the District Judge.
Court demands bail from senior bank official

Kathmandu, Oct 27-The Special Court has slapped a bail amount of Rs 25 million on a senior bank official with the state-run bank on corruption charges.
The court on Wednesday demanded a bail of Rs 25 million from Jalan Kumar Sharma, then acting manager at the Agricultural Development Bank, Nepal central office. The Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA)—a constitutional body—had charge-sheeted Sharma on charge of corruption.
The court order came in response to a hearing whether to remand Sharma in judicial custody on corruption cases filed against nine persons including him by the CIAA on charges of issuing and taking loans illegally.
Sharma was sent into custody after he failed to post the bail amount demanded by the court.
The Commission had charge-sheeted them of embezzling Rs 100.1 million with a mal-intention between vehicle suppliers and the bank officials while issuing and taking loans last month. The other defendants on the case include deputy-managing director Ramchandra Maharjan, department chief Bharat Kumar Pokhrel and section officer Gopal Prasad Ghimire.
Similarly, vehicle suppliers of Kathmandu Tuk Tuk Pvt. Ltd., Jagarnath Prasad Sonar, Saroj Sharraf and Rabindra Sarraf, and Anita Sharraf and Koshila Sonarin of Anita Electrical and Mechanical Pvt. Ltd were also made the defendants.
SC Orders Govt Bodies to Produce Detainee

Kathmandu, Oct 27-Responding to a habeas corpus petition, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Home Ministry and some other government authorities to produce Rajendra Kumar Phuyal, a detainee, before the apex court on Friday.
Phuyal has been in detention for the last 18 months even after a SC division bench of Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Bala Ram KC ordered his release five days ago.A single bench of Justice Gauri Dhakal issued the order following a hearing today.
The bench directed the concerned authorities - Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Headquarters of Police and the Royal Nepalese Army, the Kathmandu District Police Office, Hanumandhoka and the Central Jail - to produce the detainee before the apex court by 10 am on Friday.The bench ordered the authorities to furnish written explanations on why Phuyal had still not been freed after the court ruling.
The SC has also asked the concerned government authorities as to why the apex court should not consider actions against them.Phyual’s father, Khagendra Prasad, had earlier filed a habeas corpus petition and a contempt of court case at the Supreme Court, seeking SC orders against the authorities for defying the apex court order to release his son.
The authorities had arrested Phuyal a security personnel employed by the private security company ‘Kantipur Security Service’ accusing him of being involved in terrorist and disruptive activities.
Same As Supreme Court on Wednesday said the hearing on the constitutionality of the controversial Royal Commission for Corruption Control would not take place tomorrow.
“The hearing will not be conducted tomorrow,” Supreme Court Acting Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena said today. According to him, Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha, one of the five special bench members put together to test the constitutionality of the RCCC, had gone to the Philippines on a week-long visit. Thus the case would not be heard tomorrow, Timalsena said.
The hearing was scheduled for Thursday nearly a month ago.

Govt to make IDs mandatory for crossing open border

Kathmandu, Oct 26 - The Nepal government is going to enforce ‘special identity cards’ for citizens of Nepal and India for crossing the some borders areas - from November 1st- as part of maintaining tight vigil along the open borders.

This was stated in a Home Ministry notice published in the government mouthpiece Gorakhapatra daily on Tuesday.

According to the notice, the new system is being applied to ensure systematic transportation from Jamunah-Rupedia checkpoint in Nepalgunj and Rupedia checkpoint of India, the notice said.

Gopendra Pandey, spokesperson of the Home Ministry, told that the new provisions are being brought into effect following the decision a meeting of the senior officials of the concerned authorities of Nepal and India nepalnews reports..

“The main objective of this system is to monitor the activities around the borders,” he said.

After the implementation of this system, citizens of both the countries will be required to obtain identity cards from the Department of Immigration to cross the borders. According to reports, an estimated 10,000 people travel through Nepalgunj checkpoint, mid-western Nepal, to India everyday.

The move comes amidst growing concerns about the movement of Maoist rebels in the bordering areas.

Govt issues 24-hour ultimatum to Kantipur FM

Kathmandu, Oct 26 - In what looks like a desperate final assault against Kantipur FM radio station, the government Wednesday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the station to cancel its operating license.

In a "confidential" letter sent to the FM, the Ministry of Information and Communications has said "as the station has been found broadcasting news-oriented programmes despite the promulgation of the media ordinance, against Section 5 of the National Broadcasting Act 2049 BS, why the FM's operating license should not be canceled as per Section 8 (1) of the same Act?"

The government has said it has given the FM a "chance" to furnish written clarification within 24 hours mentioning reasons, if any, along with the necessary proof establishing the reasons, as to why the station's license should not be cancelled.

The Ministry has said that it will cancel the FM's license if it is not satisfied with the clarification or if no clarification is furnished within the 24-hour deadline.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel, had ordered the government to furnish its written replies over the promulgation of the controversial media ordinance and its mid-night raid on Kantipur FM.

Issuing a show cause notice to the government, in response to writ petitions filed by nine professional organizations and Kantipur FM against the recently promulgated media ordinance, the Chief Justice had assured lawyers and professionals present in the court chamber that the government would not take action against FM radios.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

OHCHR is closely watching developments: Martin

Kathmandu, Oct 26 - Chief of the UN office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Ian Martin on Tuesday reassured a visiting delegation from Kantipur Publications and Kantipur FM that his office was closely watching the developments following the government attack on Kantipur FM last Friday night.

"We are already looking very closely at the situation and we will certainly have something more to say," Martin said.

The delegation led by Chairman Hemraj Gyawali handed over a letter to Martin apprising him of the raid on Kantipur FM and threats to the independent press in Nepal.

"I will speak to all the mission representatives in Geneva and take up the issue (raid on Kantipur FM) as well as the right to information of people among others," added Martin.

He also informed that he was in touch with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights over the issue of press freedom in Nepal and threats it is facing. The delegation also urged the OHCHR to ensure that the right to information, freedom of expression and safety of all media personnel under threat, among others, are secured.

Same as,Over two dozen Nepali human rights groups have called upon general public to boycott elections for municipalities and House of Representatives announced by the government.

Addressing a press meet at Human Rights Home in Lalitpur on Wednesday, one of the coordinators of Defend Human Rights Movement, Nepal an alliance of over two dozen rights groups in the country Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, said proposed elections did not fulfill any criteria for free and fair elections set by the United Nations. He said the call for election was only a ploy to hoodwink the international community and prolong what he called the 'autocratic rule.'

Dr. Siwakoti alleged that the government was pursuing the policy of militarisation as seen in Burma, weakening the civil society as evident in Pakistan and spreading malice towards foreigners as being practiced in Zimbabwe. "There is no possibility of the (proposed) elections being representative in nature and there is no situation in the country where free will of the people could be expressed," he added.

A joint statement issued on behalf of the rights groups said election was a cornerstone of democracy and that only a democratic government could hold free and fair elections.

The Movement formerly known as a network of over two dozen rights groups-- also criticised the government's move to amend the Social Welfare Act and introduce new media law through ordinance. "By curtailing civil liberties and other freedom guaranteed by the constitution, how can you say that you are going to conduct free and fair elections in the country?" asked Sushil Pyakurel, former member of National Human Rights Commission.

The joint statement quoted statistics compiled by INSEC, a leading rights group, as saying that a total of 36 people were killed by the state over the last fifty days since the Maoists declared three-month-long unilateral ceasefire (on September 3, this year). During the same period, the rebels had killed six people.

The Movement called upon the CPN (Maoist) to prolong its ceasefire so that it could establish itself as a political force committed to multi-party polity. "Amid the noise of gun fire, voices of peace are suppressed. So, we urge the ceasefire to continue so that voices of peace could prevail," said Pyakurel.

The rights groups also urged the government to reciprocate the Maoists' move. "We call upon the state to immediately stop all type of offensive activities on its part and declare ceasefire," the statement said.

The Movement noted that the Maoists were found to be comparatively sensitive towards ceasefire declared by them. It said the state had raised the strength of the Royal Nepalese Army by 12,000 after the Maoists' announced unilateral ceasefire. Such an act is against the fundamental norms of the ceasefire, the statement said.

The rights groups alleged that the state was trying to curtail independence and freedom of the non-governmental organisations through the so-called code of conduct. They also termed the new ordinance related to media as "an assault on people's right to information" and condemned seizure of equipment from Kantipur F. M. Pvt. Ltd. by the government last Friday.

In their joint statement, the rights groups called upon the international community to monitor if Nepal was fulfilling its obligations under various UN treaties to which it is a party and not to provide arms and ammunition to the parties in Nepal conflict. They also called upon political parties in the country to take active initiative for the restoration of peace in the country along with democratic rights of the people.

The Movement said it would launch a campaign in favour of democracy, human rights and peace across the country.

Govt flouts SC order again

Kathmandu, Oct 26-Khagendra Prasad Phuyal, father of Rajendra Kumar, a detainee, field a habeas corpus petition and a contempt of court case at the Supreme Court today, accusing the government of defying the SC order to release his son.

This is the 13th time the authorities have ignored the apex court's orders relating to habeas corpus petitions since the royal takeover on February 1.

On Friday last, a division bench of Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Balram KC had ordered the release of detainee Rajendra Phuyal in the presence of a Kathmandu district judge. The court had declared Phuyal's detention unlawful. But Phuyal is still in detention, according to Khagendra Prasad Phuyal, father of Rajendra.

Phuyal's helpless father on Tuesday, filed yet another habeas corpus petition seeking the release of his son. According to the petition, Phuyal is being detained at Hanumandhoka Police Office. Authorities have told the father that he has been detained for investigation.

While ordering the detainee's release last Friday, the apex court had warned the government not to try detainees under one law at one time; but under another law at another time. Besides, the court had warned the government not to misinterpret its order as per Article 96 of the Constitution. The provision says that it is the constitutional obligation of the government and other state mechanism to respect orders/decisions passed by courts.

The petition was filed against Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi, the Home Ministry, the Headquarters of Police, the Royal Nepalese Army, the Kathmandu District Police Office, Hanumandhoka, and the Central Jail.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Crime news

Dacoits Loot Rs 2m

Rautahat, October 25-A gang of armed dacoits looted cash and goods worth Rs 2 million from around two dozen houses in Dumariya (Matiaun) VDC of Rautahat district last night. Two persons, including a woman, were injured when the dacoits fired at them during the looting. They are undergoing treatment at the Primary Health Centre in Chandranigahapur and are out of danger, SP Bir Bahadur Pulami said.

According to the security base camp at Chandranigahapur, the group of around 60 dacoits had taken ward no 1 and 3 of the VDC under their control. They looted cash and property worth Rs 2 million from the houses of Bijay Singh, Baleshar Pande, Ramananda Chaudhari, Tara Devi Karna, Nagendra Shah and from jewellery shop owned by Bikram BK in Bazaar Tole-1.

Similarly, the dacoits looted jewellery, cash and other goods from 17 houses of Baderwa Tole in Ward No 3, the victims said.SP Pulami said all the dacoits had carried weapons. A search for the looters is on, he said.However, DSP Ganesh Bahadur Yer said they are yet to get the details about the incident.

Meanwhile, A person looted Rs 615,000 from the Rastriya Bima Sansthan in Singha Durbar at gunpoint this afternoon even as he was arrested with some of the looted amount in no time.

Rajesh Deula of Jhelukhel in Bhaktapur-11 came on a motorbike and looted the amount by taking insurance company officials under control. He had carried two pen guns and a country-made gun with him.
The looter a former supervisor of sweepers at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City shot and injured a guard, Bayan Bahadur Karki, when the latter tried to take him under control. However, another security guard, Khem Raj Adhikari, managed to hold him after he fell off his bike. Adhikari hit the looter with a stone while he was fleeing.The looter was taken to the Singha Durbar Ward Police Station later. Further investigation is underway.

Same As,Police on Monday night apprehended three drug peddlers in possession of 66.5 kgs of hashish in Kathmandu.

The Narcotics and Drugs Control Unit (NDCU) detained the drug peddlers with the international contraband from a place adjacent to Shahanshah hotel located at Dhapasi, Kathmandu, according to our correspondent Jitendra Shah.

Those detained are Udagen Lama, 42 of Gorkha, Arjun Blon,22 and Sukraj Ale of Makawanpur-9.The contraband of 50 kgs was hidden inside a sack.

According to NDCU chief Hemant Malla, an additional 6.4 kgs was found in the apartment of Lama who was residing at Metropolitan-15.

Earlier, Lama had been arrested by Hong Kong police for peddling 600grams of white heroin and had returned to Nepal after spending five years in jail.

New media ordinance is contradicted with the Constitution

Kathmandu, October 25-In The Supreme Court hearing on the petitions Lawyers claimed that if the apex court failed to issue interlocutory stay orders, the government would take action against FM stations because it has already started action against Kantipur FM and directed all FM stations not to air news. During the hearing, senior advocate and one of the drafters of the 1990 Constitution, Daman Nath Dhungana urged the apex court to issue strictures against the government not to defy the court’s orders. Dhungana argued that the government had defied the court stay order allowing the FM stations to air news.

Advocate Yagya Murti Banjade argued that even the Panchayat regime abided by the orders of the apex court but the current regime was not respecting the court’s orders because it did not want to respect the rights of the people.

Former Law Minister Subash Chandra Nemwang said promulgation of the Ordinance and action against Kantipur FM was an uncivilised act of the government. Advocates Radheshyam Adhikary, Shambhu Thapa, Harihar Dahal, Shar Bahadur KC, Madhav Banskota, Ram Krishna Nirala, Chandra Kanta Gyawali, Bhimarjun Acharya, Tika Ram Bhattarai urged the court to take serious action against the government which had violated fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

They argued that the new media ordinance introduced by the government early this month contradicted with the constitution of the kingdom of Nepal, 1990, and hence needed to be scrapped. They said the state could impose reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights of the people, as per the constitution, only during the state of emergency. Since the country was not under the state of emergency, there was no justification for introducing such law, they argued.

The well-known lawyers also termed the government’s act of seizing communications equipment from the office of Kantipur FM station around midnight on Friday as violation of the very notion of rule of law and demanded that the court order the government to return the equipment and not disrupt its eastern regional transmission

Without reason 15 years in Pakistani jail

BAGLUNG, Oct 24 - A Nepali youth in his 30's has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for 15 years for no fault of his. Fifteen years ago, Surya Bahadur Nepali of Baglung Municipality - 3 was on his way home from Saudi Arabia when he was robbed of his luggage and passport at a Pakistani airport. He had gone out for a meal when the bag where he kept his passport was stolen. Unaware of this, Nepali was about to board the flight, when he was arrested.
His family members accuse the Foreign Ministry of "negligence" that has left him confined to a Pakistani jail all these years.
The family members said they reported the matter to the Foreign Ministry and had completed all the due processes to get his release two years after Nepali wrote that he was confined in a Pakistani jail. The ministry demanded $ 150 for his release three years ago and the family readily provided it.
"We even informed this to Surya Bahadur Thapa, the then Prime Minister," Suchandra, Nepali's younger brother, said.
A letter bearing the signature of acting Nepalese Ambassador to Pakistan Mukti Nath Bhatta at the Foreign Ministry stated that Nepali was released by the Rawalipindi central jail at the behest of one Mariya Anna Bugija of Rose Garden Street Gulwar - 4 of Peshawar on Dec 10, 2002. The Embassy had asked for confirmation of his arrival in the letter.
On Jan 7, 2003, Nepalese Embassy wrote to Pakistani Foreign Ministry requesting the whereabouts of the Nepali after learning from the jail that he was released at the behest of Bugija. Nepali officials in Pakistan were preparing travel documents for Nepali. Meanwhile, the Embassy had said that they were yet to contact Bugija.
On October 5, Nepali's parents appealed to King Gyanendra to help their son return home, while the latter was on a trip to Baglung.
Nepali wrote his last letter to his family on August 11 through the International Committee of the Red Cross, where he mentioned that he was detained at Kathpak Path Jail in Pakistan's Punjab. In the last letter he wrote that he was fine and would return one day to tell all that had happened to him.

Monday, October 24, 2005

SC to continue hearing on media law on Sunday

Kathmandu Oct 24-The Supreme Court will continue hearing on a joint writ petition filed by nine professional groups on Sunday.

After preliminary hearings on behalf of petitioners, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel ordered to continue hearing on the petition on Sunday together with hearings on another petition filed by advocates Ravi Raj Bhandari and Kaher Singh Khadka “since both the petitions were of similar nature.” The court will also hear the case jointly on Sunday.

He also expressed his belief that the government will not interfere in the media sector from now on.The Chief Justice's comments came during the hearing on writ petitions filed against media ordinance and seizure of uplinking equipments from Kantipur FM by the government.He also said the court will decide on whether to issue an interim stay order on the

Earlier, president of Nepal Bar Association (NBA) Shambhu Thapa, vice president Sher Bahadur KC, general secretary Madhav Baskota, executive member Tikaram Bhattarai, senior advocate Daman Nath Dhungana, senior advocate Radheshyam Adhikari, advocate Harihar Dahal and advocate Subash Nemwang pleaded on behalf of the petitioners.

They argued that the new media ordinance introduced by the government early this month contradicted with the constitution of the kingdom of Nepal, 1990, and hence needed to be scrapped. They said the state could impose reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights of the people, as per the constitution, only during the state of emergency. Since the country was not under the state of emergency, there was no justification for introducing such law, they argued.

The well-known lawyers also termed the government’s act of seizing communications equipment from the office of Kantipur F. M. station around mid-night on Friday as violation of the very notion of rule of law and demanded that the court order the government to return the equipment and not disrupt its eastern regional transmission.

Nine professional organizations, including Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Nepal Bar Association, organizations of university teachers, doctors, engineers, school teachers and radio broadcasters had filed a joint petition at the apex court on Sunday challenging the new ordinance on media.

CIAA hints at filing case on Sunkoshi bridge work delay

Kathmandu, Oct. 24- Sources at the Commission for Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) said that it would file case against those involved in Sunkoshi bridge construction project to link Katari of Udayapur to the district headquarters of Okhaldhunga district for delay in the construction work.The construction of the 204-metre-long bridge was carried out by the government as per its policy to link the every district headquarters with transport network. The construction of the Rs. 146-million project should have begun in 2059 BS but it could not start for 40 months.The contract of the project was awarded to a joint consortium of Waiba Construction, Bhairav JB Designers, Nepicon and Associate Designer and East Consult Pvt. Ltd. The mobilisation cost of Rs. 21 million has already been issued, the source said.The bridge was to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year 2062/63 BS, but only seven per cent of the work has been completed by now despite the government allotting enough budget and completing the contract procedures. Eighty per cent of the work should have been completed by now.The commission will investigate into the project about the cause behind the laxity in the construction work.A discussion was held amongst officials of the projects and the CIAA at the office of the commission on Sunday, the source said. The commission has initiated interrogation of the concerned officials, including director general, of the Road Division regarding the project after the director general furnished inappropriate answers to the CIAA.The concerned Ministry also has not taken any initiative on the three-year-long delay of the project, the source at the CIAA said.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kantipur FM moves Supreme Court

Kathmandu, Oct 23 - Kantipur FM on Sunday moved the Supreme Court (SC) against the government attack and the seizure of transmission equipment on Friday night.

In a writ petition filed at the apex court today, Binod Raj Gyawali, Director of the Kantipur FM Pvt. Ltd, also sought a stay order to stop the government from implementing the recently promulgated media ordinance and to nullify the ordinance that bars the FM stations from broadcasting news.

The writ also sought the court's order to help return the equipment, seized by the government, for usual transmission of news through the station at Bhedetar, Dhankuta.

Ministry of Information and Communication and Rajendra Kumar Poudel, an official at the ministry have been made defendants in the petition.

State terrorism

Special editorial to show our solidarity against government action

Although government lead by King is totally unconstitutional, Nepalese peoples thought that this king support Democracy . That concept of the people was wrong . The government is showing the character of gangsters and terrorists because it has become desperate. King wants Absolute monarchy and want back panchayat system .Otherwise, it wouldn't need to seize equipment of FM station in an assault style midnight raid. Definition on terrorist is always controversial .Who is real terrorist government or Maoist ? If such shameful acts continues by the government , people will soon come all out to throw off the King's regime for good.young people would be for a republic, but even older people are now saying it. They are the ones who previously would have backed the king as some sort of god

Our constitution 1990 was beaten by all political parties and murdered by the king. How can he justify that His decision making government in his leadership is right . If so he need to show the constitutional provision that gives him to make government with two vice president

Democracy ,by the people for the people . king , to whom he is responsible. He need to think that in this three year when he become king of Nepal what he did ? He plays a game of politics .After taking all power by him, Nepal has been plunged into further uncertainty.

Foreign Minister (FM) Ramesh Nath Pandey has recently told that Nepal’s prestige has been continuously rising in the international community, so all the countrymen should make sincere efforts towards further enhancing the glory of the country. He is laying to all . It's unfortunate that the government has developed a misconception that people can be kept in the dark .

So let the king hear people's voice and understand them .Its the time for him to prove his worth . If he unable to prove worth he wont be able to see his son and grand sons in the royal palace.

Writ Filed at SC Against Media Ordinance

Kathmandu, Oct 23-As many as seven associations representing professionals from different walks of life today moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the amendment effected in the law related to media.

A 20-page-long writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court late afternoon .

Present at the Supreme Court were representatives of the seven professional associations including Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Nepal Bar Association, Nepal Engineers’ Association, Nepal Medical Association, Nepal Teachers’ Association and Nepal University Teachers’ Association. Also present were representatives of the Save the Radio Campaign.

The petitioners claimed that the amendment has been effected in an arbitrary manner and that it contradicts with the spirit of the 1990 Constitution. The writ was registered amid sloganeering with over 500 media activists thronging the apex court premises.

Kantipur FM to move Supreme Court

Kathmandu Oct 23-Kantipur FM has decided to move to the Supreme Court against the attack by policemen and the seizure of transmission equipment by government officials with the help of police Friday midnight under the newly promulgated media ordinance.
The Kathmandu Post quoted legal advisor to Kantipur Publications Ram Krishna Nirala as saying, "We have prepared a case against the government action and the ordinance."
He added that the government took the equipment of the FM station despite the license it possesses to transmit the same programs from different locations from 2000, and a case seeking annulment of the new ordinance and return of the equipment has been filed.
Nirala claimed that the new ordinance contravenes the rights guaranteed by the constitution and the provision in the Radio Act.
Talking to State Run Nepal Television, Spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) Ratna Raj Pandey said that the ministry took action against Kantipur FM as it was airing program defying recently promulgated ordinance which prohibits to air program from different locations at the same time.
In its front page editorial entitled "State Terror" the Kantipur daily described the incident as a systematic attack to not only the FM station and journalists but also the rights of all FM audience and general public as well.
The Kathmandu Post in its front page editorial "State Terrorism" described the incident as similar to the Maoist attack at Nepal Television's regional station at Kohalpur in western Nepal on February 25 and writes "The government's midnight attack at Kantipur FM, bringing its eastern region transmission to a halt, is also aimed at stopping it from providing true and objective information to its six million audience in the eastern region

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gross and systematic violation of HR by state: Court

Kathmandu Oct 22-In what is seen as damning condemnation of the behaviour of the state, the Supreme Court on Friday has held that the Nepali state is engaged in what it called gross and systematic violation of human rights.

In response to habeas corpus writ petition filed at the apex court demanding release of Rajendra Phuyal, a division bench comprising Justices Min Bahadur Rayamajhi and Balram KC held that the state was responsible for violating individual freedom of the citizens. The court has taken such an act seriously, the verdict said.

Arrested from Balaju, Kathmandu nearly one and half years ago, Phuyal was being detained under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance and sometimes under the Public Security Act. Petitioners claimed that authorities handed him a letter saying that he was released after every three months while he continued to be in detention.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the government to take action against concerned officers responsible for detaining Phuyal illegally while reporting in writing that he had been released. ‘Take action against the official who gave such orders,” the apex court said.

The court has ordered the government to release Phuyal immediately in the presence of a Judge of a district court and notify it about the release.

This is the first such serious order handed out by the apex court in favour of protecting human rights after the royal takeover in February 1, this year, Kantipur daily reported.

Earlier, a meeting of full bench of the Supreme Court had regretted the re-arrest of pro-Maoist student leader, Krishna KC, a few weeks ago from the court premises immediately after the Supreme Court’s order to release him.

Friday, October 21, 2005

NBA express their solidarity to Kantipur FM

Kathmandu Oct 21-Police continue to gherao the office of private sector Kantipur FM at Pulchowk, Lalitpur Thursday evening as officials from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) is pressurizing the FM management to stop its eastern regional transmission with immediate effect.

According to latest reports, a three member team visited the station of Kantipur FM, being run by the Kantipur Publication—a leading private sector media group in the country—at around 3:00 p. m. Friday. They first said they were there to inspect the FM transmissions. Later, they said they had orders to cut off the uplinking facility of the FM to its Bhedetar transmitting station in eastern Nepal. The team comprised an administration staff and two technical staff. They said it was `illegal’ to air transmission of the FM to other parts of the country as per the new media ordinance introduced early this month.

Meanwhile, Nepal Bar Association, office-bearers of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), general secretary of CPN (UML) Madhav Kumar Nepal and members of civil society have reached the office of Kantipur F. M. to express their solidarity.

Talking to Kantipur TV, general secretary of Nepal Bar Association Madhav Baskota said it was the ‘naked aggression on media by the government.’ He said the government’s action violated the principle of natural justice at a time when the issue of news broadcast over FM stations was sub-judice.

Big rally against the new media law

Hundreds of journalists,lawyers with other professionals took out a rally in the capital, Kathmandu, protesting the new media law.
Organised by Professionals for Peace and Democracy (PAPAD), hundreds of journalists, lawyers, university teachers, doctors, engineers, writers and civil society activists took part in the rally demanding immediate withdrawal of the ordinance that amends half a dozen media related laws. The government had introduced the law early this month—just ahead of the Dashain holidays.
Acting president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) Shiva Gaule said they had no other option than to take to streets as the government was trying to gag the media by introducing harsh laws. He said the FNJ would also knock the door of the court challenging the ordinance.
The rally started from New Baneswore, in front of the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) and ended in a corner meeting at Maitighar Mandala. Representatives of various professional organizations addressed the meeting and demanded immediate withdrawal of the ordinance.
The new media law—that will last for only six months unless re-promulgated—has banned criticism of the king and royal family members and broadcast of news over the FM radio stations. The law has also raised the fine journalists and media publishers in defamation case to Rs 500,000 or two years in imprisonment or both.
Media activists said the government has introduced the new law to suppress all kind of opposition to the royal regime.

OHCHR Report to be Presented Next Week: Martin
Kathmandu Oct 21 - Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR)-Nepal, Ian Martin Friday said that despite the Maoist announced unilateral ceasefire, human rights abuses have continued.
"We welcome the reported reduction in killings since the Maoists unilaterally declared a ceasefire. Nevertheless some killings and other abuses are reported to have continued after the ceasefire and we are investigating these," Ian Martin told journalists today.
Martin said that although OHCHR-Nepal received general assurances of cooperation and commitments to human rights standards from the Maoists, they had not shown it by their actions.
"I am sorry to say that in only a very few cases have we received a response so far with action to address specific concerns," said Martin.
He informed that OHCHR-Nepal is engaged in investigating killings by the Royal Nepalese Army alleged to be in violation of international humanitarian law.
According to Martin, the first report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal, which was released in New York during Dashain, will be presented at the General Assembly next week.

NBA demands speedy hearing on RCCC case

Kathmandu Oct 21 - Nepal Bar Association (NBA) has demanded that the Supreme Court speed up the ongoing hearing on the case relating to the constitutionality of the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC).
Similarly, the umbrella forum of professional lawyers has also urged the court not to delay its decision on a case seeking revision of the verdict on House dissolution. The case was opened nearly two months ago, but the court has not done anything since then.
NBA said it was forced to draw the attention of the court in both cases after the court failed to show the required promptness they deserve, given the gravity and national importance they bear.
Much to the disappointment of NBA, the court has been conducting the hearing on the RCCC case once a week. The lawyers have been demanding that the hearing be scheduled daily.
A delegation comprising NBA President Shambhu Thapa, Vice President Sher Bahadur KC, General Secretary, Madhav Basnet and member Tikaram Bhattarai called on the Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel at his office and put forward their demands.
During the meeting the NBA delegation also urged Chief Justice Poudel to appoint lawyers in the Supreme Court, according to General Secretary Basnet. "He has promised to address our demands," he said.

Manipal Hospital announces compensation to victims

Kathmandu Oct 21-Manipal Teaching Hospital (MTH) has announced to provide Rs 200 thousand compensation and provide employment to a member of each family in the hospital based on their educational qualification to the families of ten people, who were killed when the roof of the hospital collapsed Thursday.
Similarly, the hospital announced Rs 50,000 compensation and free treatment to each of the injured persons.
According to a hospital source, those who died in the accident included patients who were taking rest in the waiting room and two staffers of the hospital. Hari Maya Acharya of Kahun, Kaski, and Sarswoti Gautam of Baglung’s Mulpani were the hospital staffers killed in the incident.
Others who lost their lives in the incident are Jagadish Gautam of Baglung’s Mulpani; Singh Bahadur Gurung, Dil Kumari Gurung and Chandra Kumari Gurung of Kaski’s Ghandruk; Khil Maya Thapa, Dhanmaya Khada, Durga Malla, Kalimaya Thapa of Tanahun’s Baidi.
Among the seven injured people, four are said to be in critical condition and are undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The Royal Nepalese Army, the Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force and hospital employees engaged in the rescue operation for over two hours, reports said.
A Mumbai-based construction company, Space Tech Engineering, which constructed the waiting room at a cost of around Rs 3 million in 2000 had guaranteed that it would last for 50 years, reports quoted Sanjay Kumar Gupta, engineer of the hospital as saying.
He also quoted the company as saying that the waiting room would resist earthquake up to a magnitude of 7 in the Richter scale.
NBA unsatisfied with appointment of judges

Kathmandu, October 20-The Nepal Bar Association (NBA) today expressed dissatisfaction with Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel over the recent appointment of Supreme Court justices and poor representation of lawyers in the judiciary.

A delegation led by NBA president Shambhu Thapa expressed dissatisfaction with Chief Justice Paudel during a meeting. Noting that the Chief Justice had promised to appoint three lawyers as judges of the Supreme Court, the delegation said he had not been able to live up to his promise.

It may be noted that five Appellate Court Chief Judges were appointed as the Supreme Court Judges a month ago. Immediately after his appointment as the Chief Justice, Paudel had assured the NBA that he would select three lawyers as Supreme Court judges.

“We have clearly said that the Chief Justice did not live up to his words while appointing Supreme Court judges,” a central member of the NBA, Tikaram Bhattarai, told reports the Himalaya times. “The Chief Justice has he will keep the promise in the future,” he added.

The Chief Justice-headed Judicial Council recommends names to the King for the appointment of judges.“There are five vacancies presently,” Paudel said, adding: “The new appointments will also include lawyers.”

The Chief Justice and Supreme Court Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena held discussions with the NBA representatives for about an hour.President Thapa, vice-president Sher Bahadur KC, general secretary Madhav Banskota and members Tika Ram Bhattarai, Bhim Dhakal represented the NBA delegation.
During a meeting, Paudel assured the lawyers that the Supreme Court will give priority on hearing of the cases of national importance.Paudel also promised that he will schedule the case seeking the reinstatement of the dissolved House of Representatives in bench.

During the meeting, Thapa said six professional organisations of lawyers, journalists, professors, teachers, engineers and doctors will file a writ petition at the Supreme Court challenging the legality of the recently-promulgated controversial Media Ordinance that amended five acts related to the media in the country.

20 hurt as prisoners clash

Birgunj, Oct 20-Over 24 inmates were injured, seven of them seriously, when a fight broke out among prisoners over an issue related to the internal control of the jail yesterday night.The jail administration said the clash started when groups of inmates wanting to manage the prison clashed over who would take the responsibility.

The fight started at 11 pm and continued for three hours and the situation is now under control, the jail administration said.The 22, including Ganesh Thapa, leader of the group which had picked the fight have been kept in the Gol Ghar. They pelted stones at other inmates injuring them. The incident has also damaged the prison. The chief of the jail, Prakash Poudel, said there is a provision of keeping those involved in misbehaviour in jail for an additional six months in the jail.

Poudel added that the injured were taken to hospital for treatment and have been brought back to the prison.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

SC Issues Show Cause Notice to Tulsi Giri

Kathmandu, Oct 20-Responding to a contempt of court case, the Supreme Court today issued a show case notice to the Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dr Tulsi Giri, as to why he spoke against the apex court and its justices.

A single bench of Chief Justice, Dilip Kumar Paudel, issued the order to Dr Giri following a hearing today. The bench asked Dr Giri to submit his written reply on the issue within seven days.

During the hearing president of the Nepal Bar Association, Shambhu Thapa, and bar members sought the apex court order against Dr Giri on the case. They claimed that Dr Giri, while delivering a speech in Biratnagar a month ago, had accused the Supreme Court and the justices of being influenced from political parties.

Dr Giri had also claimed that the 1990 Constitution had been a major obstacle for fulfilling King’s ambitions.

Media ordinance unconstitutional- legal experts

Kathmandu, Oct 20-Legal experts said the controversial media ordinance, promulgated just before Dashain, is against the norms of constitution so it cannot function to curtail the people’s right to information.
“The ordinance was prepared in haste by those people who know the least about the Constitution and the press,” said advocate Bhimarjun Acharya at a programme held by the Media Forum today to discuss the ordinance.“The ordinance allows any FM station to broadcast news till the NTV keeps airing news as it has treated both as one. The government cannot punish one leaving another safe,” he said.Acharya said that the ordinance is an amendment to four existing laws – Radio Act 2014, Rastriya Samachar Samiti Defamation Act 2019, Printing and Publication Act 2048, Press Council Act 2048, National Broadcasting Act 2049 and Defamation Act 2016.“Ordinances can be valid only if they are brought after proving their necessity for immediate purpose, not under someone’s desire,” he said.According to him, the ordinances should be brought as exception but they are treatedas rules, and they should not oppose the constitution from any angle.

“Any law or ordinance that is not just or fair cannot oblige the citizens to respect it in democracy,” he said.
“Acquiring licence to more than three media, transmitting, cancellation of press pass,informative versus news programmes, foreign news, news on royal family and inclusion of terrorism are some vital issues that curb the fundamentals of press freedom,” he said.

Advocate Shambhu Thapa, the chairman of Nepal Bar Association, said that all professionals will support the journalist’s fight against the ordinance as it is directly related with the civic right to expression.
Advocate Tikaram Bhattarai said that the present government has no right to introduce any ordinance as it lacks support from existing or dissolved House of Representatives. Shiva Gaule, the acting chairman of FNJ, said the government has to prove what problems it had to face by the previous provision of punishment, before increasing the fine.

Mainwhile ,The government on Wednesday has warned that action will be taken against those disobeying the `Ordinance amending some Nepal Acts relating to communications, 2005.’

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) said it has notified all the Frequency Modulation (FM) broadcasting institutions not to transmit or broadcast news-based programmes as provided for in the said ordinance.

The new ordinance bars FM radio stations from airing news-based programmes and allows them to broadcast ‘informative programmes’ only. The latest amendment in the National Broadcasting Ordinance 2049 B. S. has described the ‘informative programmes’ as those programmes prepared with the objective of providing information or raising public awareness on topics related to health, education, sports, population, weather or road transport.

Briefing media on the new ordinance on Tuesday, spokesman at the MoIC, Ratna Raj Pandey, had said the provision relating to broadcasting of news over FM stations will not be enforced until the apex court delivers final judgment on the issue.

The government notice, however, did not say what type of action will the media institutions have to face ‘’for violating the new law.’’

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Maoist Leaders Yadav, Magar Jailed Under TADO

Kathmandu Oct 19-The Patan Appellate Court Wednesday remanded Maoist politburo leader Matrika Yadav and central leader Suresh Ale Magar to judicial custody in connection with their alleged involvement in the murder of then Inspector General (IG) of the Armed Police Force, Krishna Mohan Shrestha, in 2003.

A joint bench of justices Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Laxman Mani Risal ordered their judicial custody after a close-door hearing on whether to grant them bail or to send them to judicial custody.

Police officials took the Maoist leaders to Nakkhu Jail, Lalitpur, after the court order. Advocate Surendra Mahato and nine other lawyers had argued from the defendants' side.

The Appellate Court had resumed recording the statement of the Maoist leaders on Tuesday. They were produced before the court for the first time on September 30.

Then on October 2, the court had postponed the hearing after Yadav gave ‘unwarranted’ statement regarding the charge against him. Another accused Ale Magar had during the first trial denied his involvement in the killing.

The Maoist leaders were arrested in India some 20 months ago and were handed over to Nepali authorities. Both remained in army custody throughout these months.

IGP Shrestha was gunned down - along with his wife and bodyguard - by Maoist assailants on the morning of January 26, 2003 in Kathmandu

Show cause notice to govt

Kathmandu Oct 19-The Supreme Court on Wednesday has issued show cause notices to various ministries and both the Houses of Parliament regarding the controversial media-related ordinance introduced by the government early this month.A single bench of Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel ordered the government to attend the haring on the case on October 30. The case would be handled by a special bench.

The Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet, Parliament Secretariat, Ministries of Information and Communications and Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs have to respond to the order, as they have been made defendants in the case.

During the hearing Nepal's former Attorney General Badri Bahadur Karki, advocates Dhrubalal Shresha, Madhav Kumar Basnet and writ petitioner advocate Ravi Raj Bhandari pleaded seeking the apex court stay order to the government not to implement the Ordinance issued on October 9.

Two lawyers Ravi Raj Bhandari and Kahar Singh Khadka jointly filed the petition seeking the apex court order to nullify the Ordinance. They claimed that the Ordinance curtailed the rights of the media guaranteed by the 1990 Constitution.

In their public interest litigation filed at the apex court on Tuesday, advocates Bhandary and Khadka had argued that the said ordinance is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the kingdom of Nepal, 1990, as well as Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 and, hence, should be declared null and void.According to the petitioners, the Ordinance was issued against Articles 1, 3, 11, 12 (2) (a), 13, 16, 69 72 (1 & 2) and 116 of the Constitution and against Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948, Article 19 of the Civil and Political Rights and various precedents established by the Supreme Court. “Thus, there is no other option than to declare the Ordinance void,” they claimed.

They also claimed that the issuance of the Ordinance has violated Article 35 (2) of the Constitution under which the King acts on the recommendation of the Cabinet.

The petitioners had made the Council of Ministers, Ministries of Information and Communications, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, House of Representatives and National Assembly as defendants.

In his verdict, CJ Poudel also ordered that the defendants be also made present during the hearings on whether an interim order needs to be issued or not, as demanded by the writ petitioners.

Six Police officers held for looting

Kathmandu, Oct 19-Six police officers, including an inspector, are in detention at the Kathmandu District Police Office (KDPO) on dual charges of looting and trying to sell the rare Yarshagumba (Caterpillar Fungus) herb in the capital some days ago.

They have been remanded in police custody after the police sought time to interrogate the accused and come up with a complete report on both the crimes. According to a police source, a group of six police officers, along with two civilians, was involved in the looting of 12 kg of Caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) at Swayambhu on September 14.

Those who have been taken into custody are KDPO Inspector Bimal Raj Kandel; Sub-Inspectors Raju KC, Santosh Swar and Suraj Khadka; and Assistant sub-Inspectors Roshan Shah and Suraj Khadka.
The two civilians are, however, absconding. Police said that they were also looking into the possible involvement of Constable Kishan Chaulagain in the crime. Meanwhile, police sources revealed that the group of police officers involved in the looting of 12 kg of Yarshagumba herb from Swayambhu were arrested on a tip-off as they were trying to sell their booty to Yog Bahadur Singh, a local businessmen. Police are also probing into the role played by Singh. While the Deputy Inspector General of Police at the Valley Police Office, Ranipokhari, Krishna Basnet, independently confirmed arrests of some police officers in the case. He, however, declined to confirm the names of those detained. “I can’t disclose the names of the police personnel as the case is still under investigation,” he told this daily when asked for the names of the detained police officers.

The trading of Caterpillar fungus, considered a valuable aphrodisiac in high demand in the international market, including in China and India, is illegal in Nepal. But apparently, those who are involved in this trade are ready to ignore the risks if some money can be made.

Same As, Police have arrested Roshan Kumar Mandal, 18, of Janakpur municipality Ward No. 4 who tried to carry out a burglary by poisoning five children of the same locality.

Mandal had fed peda laced with poison to the children. Rampabitra Mukhiya, 12, and Bima Kumari Mukhiya, 2, who fell seriously ill after eating the poisoned peda have been hospitalised.

According to police, Mandal said he had been ordered to carry out the poisoning by Sriprasad Shaha, also of Janakpur. Police are looking for Shaha, it is stated.