Writ against Maitighar protest banA writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking annulment of the government’s restriction of demonstrations at the Maitighar Mandala.
A writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking annulment of the government’s restriction of demonstrations at the Maitighar Mandala.
Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi has sought an apex court order to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, the Home Ministry and the District Administration Office, Kathmandu not to put curbs on people’s fundamental constitutional rights. He also argues that restricting people’s peaceful protests violates their freedom to express.
Organising a news conference at the ministry, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa last week said Maitighar Mandala will be banned for protests effective July 15, as decided by the Kathmandu District Security Committee on April 13.
However, the government has been nabbing protesters who are using the Mandala to protest against the government’s ban before the given date.
In the petition, Tripathi argues that it was unconstitutional, ill-intentioned and against international human rights laws to restrict popular sites for demonstrations and to designate other places as protest venues.
Minister Thapa had claimed that the government’s decision did not curtail the people’s right to peaceful assembly because the Kathmandu District Security Committee has designated seven places where people are free to organise rallies. Claiming that banning peaceful protests was a sign of curtailing the democratic exercise, Dr Govinda KC had announced to defy the ban on the citizens’ freedom of speech and expression. The District Security Committee had declared Khulamanch, open space at Tinkune in Koteshwor, Bhuikhel Chaur of Bhagawan Pau, the Pepsicola sports ground, Sano Gaucharan football ground, open space in front of Social Welfare Council and the Sifal ground at Gaushala as protest venues. The SC will hear his petition on Friday.