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.

No comments: