Sanchargram, Kathmandu

Supreme Court Verdict in Favor of Press Council Nepal

Supreme Court,Single Bench
Honorable Justice Mr.Ishwor Prasad Khatiwoda
Subject: Certiorari

Chetnath Dhamala
Vs. Including Communication and Information technology Ministry,Office of the Prime Minister

1. Regarding the petition submitted for preliminary hearing, the pleadings were also heard from Renowned Senior Advocates Mr. Shambhu Thapa,Mr. Shatiskrishna Kharel,Mr. Borna Bahadur Karki,Mr. Prem Bahadur Khadka,Mr. Chandeshwar Shrestha and Advocates Mr. Govinda Prasad Sharma “Bandi”,Dr. Dinmani Pokhrel,Mr. Ananta Luintel,Ms. Raksha Basyal and Mr. Santosh Bhandari who appeared on behalf of the applicant.

2. Considering the applicant’s request for issuing an interim order,the meeting of the Government of Nepal (Council of Ministers) dated 2077 /4 /26 issued the Press Council (Working Procedures) (Third Amendment) Rules,2077 and added Rule 3A. in the Original Rules and it is noted that a provision has been included in the Rule that the Government of Nepal can appoint an acting chairman for the Press Council. Such amendment does not seem to be conducive to the provisions made on Press Council Act, 2048 Section 4 sub-section (1), Section 5,Section 8 sub-section (3) & (6) and Section 18 as well as the essence & norms of Free Press.Besides this,the addition of Rule amending the Rules seem to be affecting the case and dispute of Chairman nomination that is still under consideration in this court. In this regard the provisions of disputed Rule 3A., if implemented with immediate effect, may unduly affect the autonomy of the applicant, Press Council and hence it seems reasonable to issue an interim order from the view point of balance of conveniences.Therefore, this Interim order has been issued pursuant to Rule 49 of Supreme Court Rules, 2074 for not to implement the amended (added) Rule 3A and to keep it in status quo and not to remove or cause to remove the current Acting Chairman, not to prevent him from working as usual.Inform the opponent about this order.
Done this on Wednesday, 3 Bhadra of the year 2077.

The Press Council (Working Procedures) (Third Amendment) Rules, 2077
Three Column Details
Rule in the Original Rules
Provisions in the Current Rules
Amended Provision
Reasons for the Amendment

Rule 3
New provision of the original rules Rule 3A has been added

3A. To appoint Acting Chairman
To appoint Acting Chairman:

(1)If the post of Chairperson becomes vacant or for any reason the Chairperson is unable or not allowed to function, the Government of Nepal may appoint a member of the Council as Acting Chairperson for a term not exceeding one year.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1), the responsibility of the acting chairperson shall automatically terminate if the chairman is nominated or if the chairman is in a position to function.
Since it is necessary to make arrangements for the regular operation of the Press Council Nepal by appointing an acting chairman when the post of chairman cannot be fulfilled for any reason.

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