KATHMANDU, Jan 19: Two days after the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Office of Attorney General not to obstruct the ongoing investigations into the murder of Journalist Dekendra Thapa, who was killed by Maoist cadres some eight years ago, the apex court has ordered Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Attorney General (AG) Mukti Pradhan to present themselves in person before the court within the next seven days in order to furnish clarification on charge of contempt of court.
Acting on a writ petition filed by Advocate Kamal Prasad Itani of Democratic Lawyers´ Association and Secretary of Nepal Press Union Santosh Neupane on Sunday, a single bench of Justice Sushila Karki on Friday issued the order against the head of executive and the legal advisor of the government.
This is the second time that the SC has summoned Prime Minister Bhattarai to seek clarifications on a contempt of court charge.
Earlier, the apex court had issued the same type of order against Bhattarai and then Law and Justice Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula over a proposal to extend the CA term by three months in contravention of the SC´s ruling against CA term extension.
The petitioners have accused the prime minister of becoming involved in holding the court in contempt by making public statement regarding Thapa´s murder, which is a sub judice. In his public statement, Bhattarai had objected to the prosecution of five Maoist cadres allegedly involved in Thapa´s murder.
Similarly, the petitioners have claimed that the attorney general is also involved in holding the court in contempt as he sent letters to Dailekh District Attorney´s Office and District Police Office last Friday instructing them not to proceed with the recording of statements of the five accused in Thapa´s murder.
Itani and Neupane, in the petition, have claimed that both the prime minister and the attorney general do not have any right to interfere with sub judice case.
Prime Minister Bhattarai, AG Pradhan, Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, Inspector General of Police Kuber Singh Rana, Dailekh District Attorney Dambar Prasad Kafle, Dailekh District Attorney´s Office and Dailekh District Police Chief Sharada Prasad Chaudhari have been made defendants in the petition.
A single bench of Justice Kalyan Sherstha on Tuesday had issued an interim order against the Office of Attorney General, Dailekh District Attorney´s Office and District Police Office while issuing a show cause notice against the government.
Prime Minister Bhattarai for his controversial remarks and AG Pradhan for his instruction are being criticized from all quarters.