KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to investigate into former Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha, who had helped to release Saraswoti Pradhan- from the custody arrested for caste-based discrimination.
A division bench of Justices Prakash Man Singh Raut and Nahakul Subedi on Thursday issued an interim order to register the application of writ petitioner Rupa Sunar and make fair and effective investigation into Shrestha’s action.
Media person Sunar, who had filed a case against a house owner for caste-based discrimination, had registered a writ petition at the Supreme Court on July 4 demanding that Education Minister Shrestha be removed as a minister for interfering the investigation of her case misusing his authority.
Sunar, who works at Image Channel, had filed a case against the House owner Saraswoti Pradhan on June 17 for refusing to rent out rooms of her House after knowing her caste and therefore police had arrested her on June 20.
After detaining for three days she was released after the Kathmandu district attorney’s office said the investigation on the case was not complete. Then Minister for Education, Science and Technology Shrestha had reached the Metropolitan Police Circle Singhadurbar and dropped Pradhan to her home on June 23.
“For affecting the serious case of caste-based discrimination by misusing his power and resources even by reaching to the police circle the Education Minister should be sacked and action should be taken as per the law,” Sunar states in her writ petition which was registered at the Supreme Court.
The bench has also issued an interim order to investigate into the caste-based discrimination case filed by Sunar against Pradhan within 25 days and inform her about its status.
Besides, the court has also ordered the Police office to investigate her mobile phone only in the presence of an IT expert and a lawyer of Sunar and an officer from the IT division of the court so as to safeguard her privacy.
As Sunar has demanded security citing possible threat, the court has ordered the Police Headquarters to ensure her safety and the National Human Rights Commission to monitor it.
She has made District Attorney’s Office Babarmahal Kathmandu, Metropolitan Police Circle Singhadurbar and Saraswoti Pradhan–the house owner as defendants besides Minister Shrestha.
Similarly the Supreme Court has drawn attention of the media not to produce and disseminate any content that could adversely affect social harmony among the ethnic groups and to write to the Press Council and Nepal and Federation of Nepali Journalists to ensure that the order was implemented.
Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi and advocates Govinda Bandi, Dal Kumar Bishwokarma, Pankaj Kumar Karna, Prithvi Nath Rai, Mohan Sashankar, Mohna Ansari, Shyam Kumar Bishwokarma, Badri Prasad Bhusal, Prakash Nepali, Shailendra Ambedkar and Yam Kumari Dadel had presented their arguments in favour or Sunar.