KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court has summoned the defendants including Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha over writ filed by an alleged victim of caste-based discrimination demanding action against against him for tryng to cover up her case.
A single bench of Justice Kumar Regmi had issued a show cause notice to the four defendants including Minister for Education, Science and Technology Shrestha responding to a writ petition registered by media person Rupa Sunar and has ordered them to come up with a written response within 15 days.
Advocates Mohna Ansari, Mohan Sashankar, Shailendra Ambedkar, Shyam Kumar Bishworkarma, Prakash Nepali, Badri Prasad Bhusal, Ruby Khadki and Yam Kumari Dadel had pleaded on behalf of petitioner Sunar.
The court has also ordered the defendants to present at the court for discussions on July 13.
“Since it is the duty of the state to ensure justice to the petitioner, the next hearing is scheduled for July 13 to decide about the interim order after discussions in the presence of defendants,” states the Supreme Court’s order.
The apex court has noted that there was no debate that the caste-based discrimination was a cruel and inhumane act which is restricted by the constitution and laws and deemed punishable.
“The right against untouchability and discrimination has been ensured by Article 24 of the constitution as a fundamental right of every individual,” reads the Supreme Court’s order.
A resident of Tanahun Sunar had filed a writ on Sunday demanding that Minister Shrestha should be sacked for supporting caste-based discrimination as per the Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offense and Punishment) Act, 2011.
Sunar had accused a Babarmahal based house owner for discriminating against her on the basis of caste by not allowing to rent rooms after knowing her caste.
Sunar, who works at Image Channel, then filed a case against the House owner Saraswoti Pradhan on June 17 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 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 had stated in her writ petition.
She has made District Attorney’s Office Babarmahal Kathmandu, Metropolitan Police Circle Singhadurbar and Saraswoti Pradhan–the house owner as defendants besides Minister Shrestha.