KDC says no to Dhamala’s case

KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu District Court (KDC) today declined to endorse the Cabinet’s nod to withdraw charges against Reporters’ Club Nepal chairman Rishi Dhamala and two other journalists.

The Cabinet had earlier decided to withdraw the case pending before the three journalists but a single bench of Judge Shekhar Paudel today declined to grant approval.

The court argued that the ground for the withdrawal sought by the government was not enough and added that withdrawal of cases on a selective basis was unacceptable.

On September 20, the Council of Ministers had decided to withdraw the case against journalists Dhamala, Ram Suvak Mahato and Birendra KM, but did not take any decision on another co-accused Manoj Mahato.

Soon after the Cabinet’s decision, Dhamala had accompanied Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on the latter’s US visit.

The judge cited the Supreme Court precedent in a case - Nepal Government vs Ram Padartha Kapar - where the court had declined to grant the withdrawal of cases as decided by the government saying that the decision was biased as it called for the withdrawal of some few accused and continued to charge others.

SC Justices Bal Ram KC and Top Bahadur Magar set the precedent in 2004.

The accused have been facing the charges of abduction and attempt to murder for their involvement in the bomb blasts in Sundhara and Tripureshwor one and a half years ago.