SC summons Tourism Minister Shrestha over contempt charge

Published On: August 5, 2022 12:46 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, August 5: The government, which made a decision by violating the law, has defied the court on the same day as the Supreme Court (SC) issued an order. On the same day that the Supreme Court ordered a minister to appear in person on contempt of court charges, the government committed another contempt.

The Supreme Court has ordered the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeevan Ram Shrestha to appear before the court and answer for not allowing Yuvaraj Adhikari, executive chairman of Nepal Airlines Corporation, to return to work. The government has defied the court by deciding to suspend Adhikari for a second time.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the minister to appear before the court within seven days and submit a written reply to all the allegations to the secretary of the ministry. A single bench of Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada issued the order asking why Adhikari was not allowed to return to work in contempt of the Supreme Court's order.

The Cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to suspend the executive chairman of NAC for a second time. At a time when the government flouted the SC’s interim order, and hence committed contempt of court, the Cabinet repeated the same mistake yesterday as well. Earlier, after the government dismissed Adhikari, the Supreme Court passed a short-term interim order, telling him to return to work.

Instead of complying with the Supreme Court's order to let Adhikari return to work as the executive chairman, the Cabinet meeting on Thursday once again decided to suspend Adhikari, compelling the apex court to summon Tourism Minister Shrestha with a written explanation.

The Supreme Court had issued a short-term interim order in the name of the government on July 7 to let Adhikari return to work saying that Adhikari was removed from the post though his tenure was still not over.

But the government did not comply with the apex court’s order and did not allow Adhikari to return to work. Adhikari then filed a case at the Supreme Court for contempt of court. The Supreme Court has issued a short-term interim order to prevent the implementation of the government's decision to appoint Deepu Raj Jwarchan as the general manager of NAC.

On Thursday, the court ordered the government to continue the same decision and not to implement the government's decision. "The minister among other defendants should appear in court and the secretary of the ministry should submit a written answer to all the complaints," the order issued by the Supreme Court on Thursday says.


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