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SC summons PM, attorney general

KATHMANDU, JAN 18 - The Supreme Court on Friday directed Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan to appear before the court on a concept of court charges.

The apex court has demanded a written explanation from the PM Bhattarai, who is also bearing the responsibility of law minister, within a week.

A single bench of Justice Sushila Karki ordered the duo to clarify whether their move to intervene in the ongoing investigation in the killing of Dailekh-based journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa was a court contempt. "Both the prime minister and attorney general are directed to clear the air in writing within seven days," said the court spokesperson Shreekant Poudel.

The bench was responding to a contempt of court case jointly filed by advocate Kamal Kumar Itani on behalf of Democratic Lawyers' Association and Nepal Press Union after the government instructed Dailekh District Attorney Office to halt the investigation process.

Earlier, a contempt of court charge was filed at the Supreme Court against the ministers after the Cabinet registered a bill the Constitution Assembly Secretariat, seeking amendment to the Interim Constitution 2007. Attorney Kamal Prasad Itani had filed the case arguing that the bill was registered notwithstanding the SC that had put a cap on the extension of CA term.

After conducting a preliminary hearing on the case, a single bench of Justice Kalyan Shrestha issued the directive.

According to the law, those held guilty on the contempt of court charge would be liable to face a one-year jail or a fine of Rs 10, 000 or both. However, the court could forgive the charges if the guilty begs pardon before the court.


Posted on: 2013-01-18 04:30