Court fails to locate Gopal Khadka's address

Published On: November 23, 2017 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 23: Even a month and a half after a defamation case was filed against him, the Kathmandu District Court has failed to locate the house of Gopal Khadka, former chief of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).  

The mysterious failure to locate Khadka's house has hindered the process in relation to a defamation case filed by Binod Raj Gyawali, Managing Director of Nepal Republic Media Pvt Ltd (NRM), the publisher of Republica and Nagarik national dailies. 

"The court notice could not be served in Khadka's name because we could not find his address," a KDC official told Republica requesting anonymity. Khadka was transferred to the Ministry of Supply from NOC on October 31. 

"We tried to contact him on his cell phone, but it was switched off," the official added.  

Stating that the statement recorded by Khadka for a parliamentary committee was defamatory, NRM Managing Director Gyawali had lodged the defamation case against Khadka on September 23. 

Khadka in his statement to the sub-committee, which was investigating controversial land purchases by the NOC, accused the Nagarik daily of publishing a series of stories on NOC land purchase scam "just because the NOC didn't buy a piece of land owned by Gyawali's father in Bhairahawa".

Khadka had already lodged a defamation case against the publisher, editor and reporter of Nagarik daily stating that he lives in Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward No 32. 

According to Rule 22 of District Court Rules, 2017, the court registrar must dispatch within three days a process server to serve the notice to the defendant. The process server should serve such notice within 15 days plus travel time and submit a report to the court. Also, the court can serve such notice to any defendant through various electronic means of communication such as telex or fax among other things. If the process server fails to furnish plausible justification for any failure to serve such notice, he/she is liable to action as per the law.

According to Raman Kumar Shrestha, former attorney general, the electronic means of communication can be used for serving notices to any registered company but this process is not practical for serving notices to individuals. "This provision can be misused for escaping court process by citing any reason," Shrestha added.

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