The incident of case lodged by Gopal Khadka, General Manger of Nepal Oil Corporation, against Nagarik Daily demanding the compensation of Rs 80 million for publishing abusive and insulting news related to corruption in the corporation has drawn our attention. General Manager Khadka had lodged complaint against Nagarik Daily on August 17 claiming that the published news, article and editorial had insulted him.
The news published in Nagarik Daily is based on investigation of Parliamentarian Committee and Commission of Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA) . We believe that lodging complaint of insult against news prepared based on debate and discussion in sovereign parliament is attempt of depriving the citizen’s right to information. It is the rights given by the constitution on providing information to citizens by publishing evidence based news.
We believe that Khadka has attempted to divert the attention of public accusation by lodging case against Nagarik Daily demanding unusual compensation. It is usual for a person to seek judicial assistance but at the same time it is important to understand in which situation and how a person is motivated for such judicial assistance.
Nepal’s Constitution has provisioned the right to freedom in section 17 and right to information in section 19. These rights have ensured the citizens right to information. It is government’s responsibility to protect such rights described in constitution and government must always be alert on such issue.
Subodh Raj Pyakurel