KATHMANDU, Nov 24: The Kathmandu District Court (KDC) has directed former chief of government-owned Sajha Prakashan, Dolindra Prasad Sharma, to remove the names of Nepal Republic Media Pvt. Ltd. (NRM) managing director Binod Raj Gyawali and Nagarik’s editor Guna Raj Luitel from the controversial book, written by Sharma.
In response to a libel suit filed by NRM against Sharma, a single bench of judge Pushpa Raj Thapaliya directed Sharma to remove the names of Gyawali, Luitel and journalist of Nagarik daily Basanta Khadka and then journalist of Republica Bishnu Prasad Aryal. The judgment was recently published, but the case was decided almost a year ago.
Stating that the publication of the names of NRM managing director and the journalists of Nagarik and Republica dailies are found ill motivated, the bench directed Sharma to correct in the next editions of Badalbhitrako Gham.
The NRM had filed the libel suit against Sharma two years ago after Sharma falsely claimed that the newspaper blackmailed him while publishing news against him. In the lawsuit, the publisher and journalists of NRM claimed that Sharma wrote eleven pages (pages 181-191) of garbage against them in the book.
“The defendant accused our media of engaging in yellow journalism, licentious misuse of journalism, and so we needed to take our case to the court for appropriate remedy,” the libel suit states.
"The decision has partially fulfilled NRM’s demand but we are planning to file an appeal in the High Court, Patan for not punishing the defendant despite convicting him of committing the crime," said advocate Ananta Raj Luitel who is also a legal advisor to NRM.
"Punishment was obviously expected when the bench convicted the defendant," Luitel added.
Advocates Luitel, Santosh Bhandari and Pratibha Upreti had argued on behalf of NRM iat the KDC.