Supreme Court initiates formal contempt charge against 16 locals

Kathmandu, January 18:

In its suo moto notice, the Supreme Court today initiated contempt of court action against those arrested from the SC premises yesterday.

The contempt of court charge was initiated against 16 of the 30 persons held from the SC premises. 14 persons were released after they were found innocent.

Police had held them after they chanted slogans in the court room against the judges hearing a case against Chamati Land Integration Project filed by Naya Bazaar residents. The SC decided to initiate actions after bench assistant Yadav Raj Pokhrel submitted his report.

“We have initiated contempt of court charge against them after discussing it with all the SC Justices and the presidents of the NBA and SC Bar Association this morning,” SC Registrar Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena said. “We have taken this issue strongly as it threatens judicial independence and the rule of law.”

The contempt of court charge was initiated against Ram Krishna Dangol, Dev Ratna Dangol, Shree Bhakta Sharma, Purna Narayan Maharjan, Ashok Raj Koirala and Dinesh Maharjan. The others who are going to face the charge include Tutubhai Maharjan, Ratna Kaji Maharjan, Macha Raja Maharjan, Mukunda Rijal, Mahendra Jung Thapa, Macha Kaji Maharjan, Bishnu Shreshta, Purna Lal Shrestha, Nil Kantha Mali, Ravi Maharjan and Gyanendra Maharjan.

After the bench assistant’s report, the case was formally placed before a single bench of Justice Bala Ram KC against whom the accused chanted slogans yesterday. Justice KC directed the police to produce the accused before the bench to record their statements on why punishment should not be awarded to them on the contempt of court charge.