Contempt case filed against govt bodies for not following SC order

Kathmandu, November 30

A contempt of court was filed at the Supreme Court yesterday against government bodies for failing to abide by the court’s order to remove hoarding boards, advertising posters, flexes, and pamphlets that have caused visual pollution in the city.

The contempt of court case was filed against nine government bodies after the authorities failed to take initiative to control visual pollution as per the order issued by the SC on 2 September 2015.

A division bench of chief justice Kalyan Shrestha and justice Om Prakash Mishra had ordered nine government bodies and their authorities to immediately start working to control visual pollution inside Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

The court had asked the authorites to remove hoardings, sign boards from the rooftops in Kathmandu metropolis. It had also asked the government bodies to cooperate with environmentalists and stakeholders to remove the haphazardly pasted pamphlets and posters on the walls and utility poles.

The contempt of court complaint was filed against Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidhya Sundar Shakya, Minister of Forest and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Urban Development Mohammad Istiyak Rai, Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Hridayesh Tripathi and Kathmandu Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal, among others.

Advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha, who had filed the contempt of court complaint, said he was forced to do so after the government offices concerned did not abide by the SC’s order.

Judgment Execution Directorate had written five letters to all nine government bodies in the last five years to act as per the SC’s order. “But the government agencies concerned turned a deaf ear to the SC’s order, following which I had to file the case  against the head of nine government bodies,” he added.

Petitioner Shrestha has demanded one-year jail term and a fine up to Rs 10,000 against them, as per the Administration of Justice Act, 2017.