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SC orders PM to court

Friday, January 18th, 2013
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The Supreme Court on Friday summoned Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Attorney General Mukti Pradhan to appear before the court within seven days to answer to contempt of court charges.

Attorney Kamal Itani had filed a writ petition at the SC claiming that the duo’s orders to stop investigations into journalist Dekendra Thapa’s murder amounted to contempt of court, and a single-bench comprising of Justice Sushila Karki issued the summons.

Even though the PM’s political advisor Devendra Poudel said that the PM will submit a written response instead of appearing in person, SC spokesperson Hemanta Rawal told Nepali Times that both Bhattarai and Pradhan would have to be present at court.

Last week Bhattarai and Pradhan had both tried to stop Surkhet police from investigating the case after Surkhet’s appellate court had ordered police to continue taking testimonies from the accused.

The PM claimed in public that “the peace process would be derailed if the killers were prosecuted,” while Pradhan gave written orders to Surkhet police and district attorney offices to halt all investigations.

The SC can either announce a one-year jail term, or impose a fine of Rs. 10,000, or both, for a person found guilty of contempt of court.

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