KATHMANDU, Sept 21: The Supreme Court (SC) has issued an interim order to the authorities not to take action against anyone on the basis of their negative remarks about projects operating in the country, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
A joint bench of Justices Meera Khadka and Tej Bahadur KC on Monday ordered that no action should be taken against anyone on the basis of their statements as Article 17 of the Constitution provides freedom of expression to every Nepali citizen and that might include positive, negative and critical comments.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a statement saying that it was not allowed to comment on direct and indirect media and social media targeting development projects run with the help of allied nations, employees working there, foreign nationals and their assets.
A writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court alleging that the statement violated the people’s freedom of expression. The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a statement saying that no one should speak negatively against the development projects funded by friendly nations.
Advocate Prabesh KC filed a writ petition against the home ministry saying that it was unconstitutional for the government to ask the people not to speak as the constitution enshrines the freedom of expression as a fundamental right.
“As the constitution gives the right to speak, a citizen has the right to express positive or negative comments on a development project or on the influence or actions of such foreign-funded projects,” the writ petition said.