The Supreme Court today asked Chairman and Managing Director of Kantipur Publications Kailash Sirohiya, its Director Swastika Sirohiya and Kantipur dailys’ Editor-in-Chief Sudheer Sharma and its correspondent Ghanshyam Khadka to submit their explanations in relation to a contempt of court they are facing in writing by September 17. A hearing on the case has been scheduled for September 18.
A division bench of Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma and Justice Om Prakash Mishra passed the order to this effect today.
The defendants were present at court to record their statements for the third consecutive day today as per an August 28 apex court order. However, their statements were not recorded today as well and they were asked to submit their explanations in writing by September 17.
After receiving a court notice on September 5, the defendants had first appeared in court on September 10 to record their statements. The court, however, told them to come on September 11, saying judges were busy. On September 11, they were again told to come the following day, saying one of the judges presiding over the bench was leaving for abroad. The defendants then reached the court today when they were asked to submit their explanations in writing, which means they do not need to record their statements before the judges.
Responding to separate petitions filed by advocates Anjani Kumar Pokhrel and Ratna Kumari Shrestha, a single bench of Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli had on August 28 summoned the defendants to face contempt of court case. The apex court stated that the written explanations of the defendants will be treated as their statements recorded in the court.
Justice Parajuli’s bench on August 28 had observed that a series of news, articles, editorial and other printing materials that were published in Kantipur daily were, prima facie, contemptuous.