KATHMANDU, July 7: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday issued an interlocutory stay order against the government’s decision to ban protests at various places in the capital city.
A single bench of Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada issued the stay order following initial hearingson Friday in response to a writ petition filed by senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi.
The bench also summoned the government authorities – the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the District Administration Office – to attend the hearings to be held on July 13 on whether or not to continue the stay order.
Senior advocate Tripathi, naming the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Home Ministry and the District Administration Office as defendants, registered the case on Thursday.
The petitioner sought a stay order against the implementation of the ban order issued by the Council of Ministers on April 15, prohibiting the staging of any protest in various places of the capital city including Maitighar Mandala, which has been used for organizing protests for the past many years.
The ban was imposed by Chief District Officer Kedar Nath Sharma as per Section 6(3) of the Local Administration Act, 1972 on the basis of the recommendation of the District Security Committee in February. The order imposed a ban on staging protest, sit-ins and demonstrations at these prohibited areas.
The government had banned protests in front of Shivapuri School, Kanti Child Hospital, Police Hospital, and the residential areas of Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice, Gairidhara, in front of Parliament building, New Baneshwar area and the Singha Durbar area, Bhadrakali area, Tinkune island, Singha Durbar gate area, Padmodaya area, Singha Durbar main gate, Maitighar Mandala area and the residential area of the vice-president.
The petitioner claimed that the protest ban order had violated the freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of organization as ensured by the constitution.