Nepal | May 28, 2020

Most people unaware of right to information, says Justice Malla

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:
Sapana Pradhan Malla in Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee

File – One of the nominees for the Supreme Court justices, Sapana Pradhan Malla, faces parliamentary hearing at a meeting of the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC), in Kathmandu, on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, September 28

Supreme Court Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla today said that although the constitution had guaranteed the right to information as a fundamental right of citizens, most people were unaware of this right.

Speaking at a programme organised to mark International Day for Universal Access to Information by the National Information Commission in Kathmandu today, Malla said, “Most citizens are not aware of their fundamental right to information.

Officials have turned information into a commodity that citizens need to buy from them, which is a reflection of how corrupt these organisations are.”

According to Transparency International, over 100 countries have granted the right to information to their citizens in their constitution. But most of them have not informed their citizens about it.

“The constitution grants the right to information, right to privacy, and right to freedom of opinion and expression to its people, but often these rights are lumped up together,” she said.

Speaking at the programme, Chairperson of Press Council Nepal, Borna Bahadur Karki, pointed out that most constitutional rights were only exercised in the capital, while rural areas were neglected.

“All citizens of the country, whether those living in the capital or in other parts of the country, have the right to know about the activities of governmental bodies. Special initiatives must be taken to ensure that our citizens living in the rural areas also have the opportunity to exercise this right,” said Karki.

“Women are more likely to be deprived of their right to information than men in our country,” said advocate Yashoda Devi Timilsina.

Although the state has allocated 21 per cent of its budget for women empowerment, many are not able to exercise this fundamental right, she said.

Chairman of FNJ Mahendra Bistha said, “The general public must be informed of their right to information, and a culture of asking and providing information must be developed in our country.”

On the occasion, seven people were honoured and awarded with Rs 30,000 for their contribution to implementation of the right to information.

A version of this article appears in print on September 29, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

US President Donald Trump, Twitter account

Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter on Tuesday for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning that his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers. The move marked a dramatic shift for the social network, Trump Read More...

Darchula Nepali stranded

Indecision prevails on managing migrants mulling return to Nepal

KATHMANDU, MAY 26 The government is yet to take any concrete decision on how to manage quarantine and health facilities, accommodation and visa process for those preparing to return to the country from abroad, including those from major labour destinations. Government officials have made frequ Read More...

More PCR tests necessary for accurate diagnosis

Kathmandu, May 26 A woman, who tested positive for coronavirus infection and was undergoing treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, tested negative twice in the rapid diagnostic test. However, she tested positive for the infection in the polymerase chain reaction test in the National Read More...

Home quarantined pregnant woman dies in Saptari

Rajbiraj, May 26 A pregnant woman staying in home quarantine at Simara Chowk of Kanchanrup Municipality, Saptari, died today. Saptari District Hospital said that the woman aged 24 had died at home at around 7:00am today. “The deceased woman’s throat swab sample was collected and sent to BP Read More...

Deuba renews demand for relief package to journos and media houses

Kathmandu, May 26 Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has once again called on the government to announce relief package for journalists and media houses. Issuing a statement on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of Nepal Press Union today, Deuba expressed concern about scores of jo Read More...

Quarantine facility poses risk of virus spread

Bajura, May 26 Quarantine facility at Malika Higher Secondary School in Bajura headquarters, Martadi, is at high risk of COVDI-19. A total of 93 people, who recently returned from India have been kept in the quarantine facility. They came from red-zone in India. But, they have not undergone Read More...

Bring gender-responsive budget: HoR panel

Kathmandu, May 26 The Women and Social Development Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the federal and provincial governments to bring gender-responsible budget for the fiscal 2020-21 in the wake of adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairperson of the parli Read More...

Govt projects 2.3 per cent economic growth for this fiscal

Per capita income to increase to Rs 126,018 Despite joblessness absolute poverty to decline KATHMANDU, MAY 26 Halt in economic activities as a result of the lockdown that the government has imposed to control the spread of the COVID-19 contagion was expected to hit the country's econom Read More...