Ministry forms media panel to review new codeThe Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has formed a 15-member panel that would receive suggestions on the recently enforced contentious Criminal Code 2074.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has formed a 15-member panel that would receive suggestions on the recently enforced contentious Criminal Code 2074.
The panel would recommend how to make the Code freedom of expression friendly. The panel has 45 days to study international practices, Nepal’s original practices and consult all the stakeholders.
Responding to trenchant opposition to the code by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the media fraternity, the ministry on Tuesday clarified the government has no intent to muzzle the freedom of press other than making it responsible and accountable.
Ministry Assistant Spokesperson Mukunda Sharma said, “Senior journalist Dev Prakash Tripathi heads the 15-member panel comprising various members from the media outlets. They include FNJ President Govinda Acharya; former FNJ president Dharmendra Jha; Chairman of Nepal Press Institute, Tirtha Koirala, and Chairman of Media Society Shuva Shankar Kandel.”
The ministry issued the press note on Tuesday saying it was open to receive any suggestions from the media if any law created confusion on ensuring freedoms of the press and expression as guaranteed by the constitution.
The press note further said the government has no intention to stifle press freedom, but make the media responsible and accountable, because it is the backbone of democracy.
The FNJ plans to launch a nationwide agitation against the Criminal and Civil Codes. It insists the Codes have some provision that infringe upon the freedoms of the press and expression.