The Nepal Media Society (NMS) has urged the Supreme Court to rectify its interim order directing the Press Council to take action against Kantipur daily for reporting news highlighting the discrepancies in the birth date mentioned by Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli in his official documents.
Issuing a press statement on Monday, the NMS pointed out that recent episode including the ongoing court contempt case against the daily at the SC is against the fundamental right of Freedom of Press that is ensured by the Constitution of Nepal 2015 reports media.
A single bench of Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli had passed the order against Chairman of Kantipur Media Group and Kantipur Daily’s Chief Editor, among others, telling them to record their statement within three days.
The SC also ordered Press Council Nepal to investigate Kantipur’s news reports against CJ Parajuli and prevent the newspaper from publishing ‘such misleading reports.’
The Society said that it strongly opposed the judiciary’s attempt to impose pre-censorship on media.“We believe that the judiciary will demonstrate its behaviour in favour of unrestricted press freedom,” read the release, “We are committed to inform the public by exercising our press freedom and we also urge all bodies to show democratic behaviour as per the spirit of the constitution.”
“Press freedom is a pillar of democracy and healthy criticism is not only a jewel of democracy but a regular duty (of the press),” NMS said and added that the leadership of the judiciary acted with the motive of revenge against press freedom.
The NMS also said that there is no alternative to promote a favorable environment for the press to perform their duties without hindrances to maintain transparency in a democratic society.