Court in Nepal Delays Controversial RTI Limits

31 January 2012

The Supreme Court of Nepal Jan. 31 stayed until Feb. 5 the decision of the government to classify 140 kinds of information, according to a report in Republica.  

The court ordered defendants and plaintiffs to be present arguments on whether the classification decision should be stayed until there is a final decision by the court.

Justice Baidhyanath Upadhyaya issued the stay order in response to public interest litigation filed by the Democratic Lawyers´ Association.  The association argued that the government’s interpretation of the Right to Information Act is unconstitutional. (See previous report.) 

Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire said that the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers would immediately send a circular to all the ministries not to implement the new classification of information, Republica reported .

“As per the prime minister´s directive, we will immediately send a directive to not implement the classification of information,” Ghimire said during a meeting between Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and a delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Jan. 31.

“We want greater transparency,” Ghimire said, promising to consult the stakeholders before classifying government information the next time, the article said.

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