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SC serves show-cause notice to government on Dhungel amnesty bid

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KATHMANDU — The Supreme Court has served a show-cause notice to the government against the latter’s plan to offer amnesty to murder convict Balkrishna Dhungel.

A single bench of Justice Dipkumar Karki on Friday issued the order to the government demanding a written explanation within 15 days on why Dhungel should be pardoned.

The Supreme Court has also summoned several government authorities to attend the apex court on Sunday to participate in a hearing on whether or not to issue stay order against the government’s preparations to pardon jailed murder convict Dhungel.

The government authorities summoned by the court to explain why Dhungel should be pardoned include the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Office of President, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Prison Management.

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Dhungel, a former lawmaker of the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Centre), is serving life sentence at Dillibazaar jail for murdering Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga on June 24, 1998. He was arrested from Lalitpur in October 2017.

The prison administration has recommended the government to waive his remaining jail term on the grounds of good conduct and his previous prison stints in the same case.

Claiming that the government was planning to free Dhungel by invoking Presidential Pardon on the Republic Day,senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi had filed a writ petition on Thursday against the government’s move.

Tripathi has named the President’s Office, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, Home Ministry, Prison Management Department, District Administration Office, Kathmandu, and Balkrishna Dhungel as defendants in the petition.

This is not the first time the government has tried to release Dhungel from prison through Presidential Pardon. In November 2011, the government led by Baburam Bhattarai had also recommended Dhungel’s name for clemency.

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Journalists’ code of ethics on use of social networking sites stressed

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KATHMANDU- Code of ethics on the use of social networking sites for journalists has been stressed.

The speakers at a programme argued that code of ethics for journalists on use of social sites is needed as their status on social sites could raise credibility questions on the news contents.

On the occasion, FNJ Vice-Chairman Bipul Pokharel and FNJ Secretary Prakash Thapa shared that FNJ is drafting the code of conducts targeting the members of FNJ.

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Likewise, coordinator of digital media committee of FNJ and central committee member Lekhnath Neupane reasoned the need for such code of ethics to make the entire media sector more responsible and decent.

Executive Director of Centre for Media Research Centre Ujjawal Acharya, Chairman of Online Journalists’ Association Shiva Satyal and FNJ central committee member
Janmadev Jaisi also expressed their opinions at the interaction programme on ‘Use of social networking site and development of code of ethics for journalists’ organized by Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and Centre for Media Research on Saturday.

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