The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to the police to register a first information report against former minister of education, science, and technology Krishna Gopal Shrestha, whom journalist Rupa Sunar has accused of influencing police investigation in a caste discrimination case. The interim order was issued by a division bench of Justice Prakash Man Singh Raut and Nahakul Subedi in response to a petition filed by Sunar against former minister Shrestha and others.

The petitioner had filed an FIR against Babarmahal resident Saraswati Pradhan for allegedly refusing to rent a room to the petitioner after the petitioner told her that she belonged to the Dalit community. The court ordered the police to complete investigation into the case filed by Sunar against Pradhan within 25 days and to determine whether or not a case be filed against the alleged perpetrator.

The court also ordered police to tell Sunar on what grounds Pradhan was released from custody on a personal bond. The court also asked them to book Shrestha for securing Pradhan's release from custody and taking her to her residence in a government vehicle.

The court ordered police to carry out an impartial and effective investigation into the case filed against Shrestha. It ordered them to seek details of Sunar's telephonic conversation with Pradhan in front of a court official, a mobile technology expert chosen by Sunar, and her lawyer so that her right to privacy was not infringed upon.

The court ordered police and the National Human Rights Commission to provide security to Sunar as she faced a security threat. It cautioned mass media not to present news related to Sunar's case in a manner that could adversely impact the ongoing investigation or cause social tension.

Sunar has alleged that when she went to Saraswati Pradhan's house to rent a room, the landlady, who first agreed to rent out a room, refused to do so when Sunar told her that she was a Dalit.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 16 2021, of The Himalayan Times.