KATHMANDU, July 9: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the government to publicize the details of relief provided to the ordinary public during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A division bench of justices Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Hari Prasad Phuyal directed the government authorities — the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the High Level Coronavirus Committee led by Deputy PM Ishwar Pokhrel — to publicize the details of relief materials distributed to the needy people during the lockdown. The bench issued the first verdict in relation to a PIL filed after the lockdown imposed by the government to fight coronavirus.
Citing the reason that the petitioners and the common public have the right to know the expenses as per Article 27 of the Constitution and Section 3 of Right to Information Act, 2006, the bench directed the authorities to make public the details. The bench was responding to a writ petition filed by advocates Kritinath Sharma, Manish Shrestha, Pratibha Uprety and Santosh Bhandari.
Advocates Ananta Raj Luitel, Bikash Bhattarai and the petitioners argued During the hearing, demanding the apex court intervention to make public the expenses made by the government to rescue the needy people during the difficult time because it is the duty of the government to maintain the transparency of expenses of state treasury. Prime Minister KP Oli had stated that the government had spent Rs 800 million till the 23rd day of the lockdown and a few weeks ago he also added that Rs 10 billion was spent in providing relief to the needy people.
The petitioners, in the petition, claimed that the government has to clearly show the details as per Section 8 of Good Governance Act, 2007 because it would promote good governance and stop the possible irregularities.