Kathmandu, August 12:

Editor and publisher of the vernacular weekly, Saanghu, Gopal Budhathoki will file a case against the government for its “illegal” and “baseless” apathy towards the paper in the past six months. The weekly, along with five others — Deshantar, Prakash, Budhbar, Hank and Bimarsh — haven’t been paid for government advertisements that they have been publishing in the last six months. “We may go collectively as well. But I’m going to move court very soon,” said Budhathoki., adding he was consulting the Nepal Bar Association for an appropriate way to file a writ. The weeklies had demanded a reason for non-payment from the Department of Information, but they got no answer. After the royal proclamation of February 1, the government stopped payment of its advertisements but never notified the publishers that it would stop payment or that they discontinue advertisements. The government has been supporting newspapers by distributing public notices as advertisements, which are a kind of subsidy to the country’s journalism. “We have been publishing advertisements for years. We were neither notified of change in policy nor did anybody ask us to discontinue advisements. The government cannot stop payment without a notice,” Budhathoki said, adding that the government has to make it clear whether it was because they had failed to flatter the government or if they have violated the constitution.

Budhathoki also said that after the royal proclamation, security persons were unnecessary hassling distribution of the weeklies outside Valley. “The army either stops vehicles going outside for days and thus delays distribution, or throws the bundles out of the buses without providing us valid cause,” he said.