Archive ref no: NCA-19924
Recommendation to HMG regarding incident that took place at Kantipur FM
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent its recommendations to His Majesty's Government today regarding the incident that took place on the night of 21st October at the Kantipur FM Radio Station in Pulchowk. Details of the facts received about the incident and the recommendation to His Majesty's Government are as follows:
(a) His Majesty's Government Ministry of Information and Communication stated that the ordinance on the amendment of some Nepalese Acts and the provision under Section 11 (a) of the amended National Broadcasting Act, 1992, did not allow any broadcasting organization broadcasting a program from one location to simultaneously broadcast the same program from another location. It therefore stated that Kantipur FM had violated the provision as per the amended Act as it had broadcasted programs from Kathmandu and Bhedetaar at the same time. However, according to Kantipur FM, the newly amended provision did allow broadcasting after acquiring the permission to do so; the new amendment did not include any provision that stated that those who had earlier been permitted to broadcast had to re-acquire their permits. Based on Ministerial decision of March 30, 2001, Kantipur FM received its permit on April 12, 2001 and had been legally broadcasting its programs. It had therefore continued its broadcasting as the new legal arrangement did not prevent it from broadcasting.
(b) On this issue, it was observed that Kantipur FM had not been given reasonable opportunity to provide its clarification. It was found that a team that had come to monitor the station in the afternoon offered no information or direction to the effect that the station had been in contravention of the law and had returned without making any comment after going through the license of the station. Later in the night, the team had once again entered into the FM station without any prior information and taken away various equipments.
(c) It was found that the concerned FM station had not been informed about any special situation that necessitated the return at night and taking away the equipments by the team from the Ministry that had visited in the afternoon and had given any instruction at that time. It is essential to adhere to the provisions of Civil Code Sections 172 and 116 in order to enter anyone's house at night. The Commission's investigation has found that these provisions were not adhered to at that time.
(d) In case of violation, Section 17 the National Broadcasting Act, 1992 has the provision of punishment for those who have violated the Act. However, no provision was found in the Act that allowed taking away of the equipments. As such, the activity has been in contravention of the abovementioned Section of the National Broadcasting Act, along with Articles 14, 17 and 22 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990. On the same note, it has also been found that the action has been in contravention of Article 9, 14, and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nepal is a state party.
Therefore, The Commission has recommended to His Majesty's Government to respect the fundamental human rights principles enshrined in the Constitution and the law; to prevent any activity resulting in the violation of human rights; to protect the life and property of media persons; to protect the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and to give back Kantipur FM the equipments that were taken away from it.
Kedar Prasad Poudyal
Acting Secretary & Spokesperson