Media Ordinance constitutional: Government
Kathmandu Dec 17-At a time when the controversial Media Ordinance, promulgated in October this year, is facing criticism from various walks of life, the Ministry of Information and Communications has claimed that the Media Ordinance does not restrict the freedom of speech and expression and does not violate press and publication rights in the country.
In its written reply to the Supreme Court (SC) the ministry has also requested the SC to quash the writ petition filed by several professional organisations, including the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, challenging the Media Ordinance.
The ministry has also requested the Supreme Court to quash the writ petition filed by several professional organisations, including the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, challenging the Media Ordinance. The ministry submitted its written reply before the SC on Wednesday claiming that the ordinance does not prevent people from exercising their rights under the existing laws.
Kumar Prasad Poudel, secretary at the ministry, said there was no need for the apex court to test the constitutionality of the ordinance, which was promulgated by the King with the consent of the cabinet, reports said.
"The Press and Publication Act 1991 was formed with the consent of the cabinet and the National Broadcasting Act 1992 and was promulgated by the parliament. Hence the Act is not beyond amendment through an ordinance," the ministry claims.The ministry has said the ordinance was promulgated within constitutional parameters and it had no intention of violating the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, as claimed by the writ petitioners.
He added that the King had issued the ordinance as per Article 72 of the Constitution and thus there was no need to consider the writ petition filed at the SC.
The ministry has accused various professional organisations of filing the writ petition at the SC with ill intent and without sufficient grounds to challenge the ordinance.
Nine professional organizations filed a petition demanding to repeal the media ordinance saying it limits the rights guaranteed by the constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990.