It is said that media has neither permanent friends nor a permanent enemy. Nevertheless, media are generally disliked by regimes that claim to be democratic but in effect they are undemocratic in nature. But then yet the adage that the media constitute the fourth pillar of the State remains intact though it is more often than not disregarded when it comes to bestow in real terms the prestige and honor the media rightfully deserve. But then yet we presume that the media too at times commit blunders of the highest order and still claim to be sacrosanct. After all the media too is a part of the society whose negative/positive impacts are bound to have on the media machinery as well. The media which claims itself to be sacrosanct or poses to be the one too must find some time for soul-searching as to in what manner the media has projected the real societal evils plaguing the society or has it been lured for some financial gains and thus dumped the matter for good. This does mean that we in the media sector too are answerable to the laws of the land and for distorting the events as it should be must remain prepared for penal actions that are due either by the State authorities or by the society itself.
To come to the point, no one should be considered to be above the decree or for that matter the law. No personality should escape the law for crimes that he or she is presumed to have committed while on duty. But care should be taken that in the process of awarding penal actions to the real culprits , no innocent civilian should be taken to task. It has been rightly said that an innocent person must be spared from penal actions if that meant sparing ten real wrongdoers. This is natural justice set by the ancient experts on law who in effect provided a base for the expansion of the judicial system to what we have now.
Here we would like to bring the case of Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel who has recently tried to use his authority in harassing the Nepali media sector. Honorable Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel is a highly honored personality as he is the head of
Question thus arises as to whether the media has the right to question the wrong doing of Mr. Poudel-who is a denizen of the country and is the one among the crowd of many- or not? Fortunately this Mr. Poudel who has been taken to task by the Nepali media of late is the Chief Justice of the country. Should the media men absolve this persona from his wrong doings simply because he is the chief justice of the country? Or he be taken as a simple who is not above the laws of the land? The answer is simple.
We presume that Chief Justice Poudel and a lay man Mr. Poudel are two different personalities. While chief justice Poudel might enjoy certain privileges for being the honorable CJ of the nation, concurrently Mr. Poudel while not in his judicial uniform canít enjoy the same civil liberties for he is just a lay man and in no way be granted the status of a person who should be treated as above the prevailing laws of the land.
The manner Chief Justice Poudel has tried to harass the
The Jan Aastha Weekly had recently penned some stories regarding Mr. Poudel but not the CJ Honorable Poudel. Letís presume, for a second, that honorable Poudel is above the law. However, the attached fact is also that Mr. Poudel is a simple citizen of this country and thus he must not be treated some thing more than equals. He is answerable to the laws of the land and he must clarify his stance. The arlier the better.
The surprising part of the whole story has been that why Mr. Poudel when criticized by the media did not knock the doors of the concerned higher media authorities demanding justice? He could have demanded penal actions against the editor through the press council or any other media agencies who look into such matters. But Mr. Poudel-better say CJ Poudel thought it opportune and handy to go his way and thus dragged the innocent editor to the court.
We conclude that such acts are directed towards the gagging of the press by the nationís judiciary through the use of position and authority which is not only untenable but highly objectionable.
We regret that CJ Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel instead should have resorted to some other friendly and law full means other than to adopt a measure that has not only corroded the entire credibility of the nationís judiciary but put a grave question mark over his judicial personality.
After all, CJ Poudel is a lay man when he is out side of his judicial chamber. The more he uses his power and position the more he will be attacked in the future. Wisdom would demand that the case framed against our professional colleague Mr. Kishor Shrestha by the Supreme Court be dismissed. In doing so the Nepali media will also respond accordingly. The crisis could still be averted or else the Judiciary will face the music in the days ahead.
It is time that Pr. Poudel reconciles with the press. But will he?
Nevertheless, the SC is hereby requested to take it as a request or suggestion but not to take as an affront to the judiciary. We possess profound respect and honor for the Supreme Court-the last upholder of justice.