KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Four former chief justices have said that they had not committed any contempt of the court by issuing a joint statement against the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HoR).
Submitting their written responses to a Supreme Court order in a case of contempt of court filed against them, the CJs -- Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Anup Raj Sharma, Kalyan Shrestha and Sushila Karki -- on Monday stated that the four former CJs had used their fundamental right of opinion and freedom of expression as per the constitution.
“Former legal practitioners also have the concern on the exercise, protection and promotion of various fundamental rights including the right to freedom of expression and opinion as guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal.”
Three of them --- Rayamajhi, Shrestha and Karki-- submitted a joint response while Sharma produced a separate response to the court.
In their response, they insisted that they still are convinced that the dissolution of the 275-member HoR was an unconstitutional move. “We’d like to express our commitment and ownership to the joint statement which we released on January 8 against the government's act of dissolving the House of Representatives.”
Sharma also argued that expressing their concern over the dissolution of the HoR was not a contempt of court
A single bench of Justice Manoj Sharma on January 27 ordered the four ex CJs to present themselves at the court with a written response to the case of contempt of court filed against him within seven days excluding travel time.