Dinesh Acharya, Editor of Share Bazaar Weekly was arrested in Kathmandu on charges of sharing a news article published on his newspaper on the official Facebook page of the newspaper. The case was filed under the Clause 47 of Electronic Transaction Act 2008. In the past edition dated 23-29 June 2013, Share Bazaar had published news related to industrialist Nirvana Chaudhary which was shared by Editor Acharya on the newspaper’s Facebook page. Nirvana Chaudhary, son of Forbes billionaire industrialist Binod Chaudhary had filed the case demanding NRs. 550 million in compensation against Acharya.
The Clause 47 highlights: http://www.tepc.gov.np/uploads/files/12the-electronic-transaction-act55.pdf
Publication of illegal materials in electronic form:
(1) If any person publishes or displays any material in the electronic media including computer, internet which are prohibited to publish or display by the prevailing law or which may be contrary to the public morality or decent behavior or any types of materials which may spread hate or jealousy against anyone or which may jeopardize the harmonious relations subsisting among the peoples of various castes, tribes and communities shall be liable to the punishment with the fine not exceeding One Hundred Thousand Rupees or with the imprisonment not exceeding five years or with both.
(2) If any person commit an offence referred to in Sub-section (1) time to time he/she shall be liable to the punishment for each time with one and one half percent of the punishment of the previous punishment.
Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has condemn the act and has released a press release stating it is the dutiful right of a journalist to relay news and opinion based programs and news-related messages. FNJ also expresses deep sadness over the rising trend of having journalists arrested by using the Electronic Transaction Act which was made for a separate purpose. Even in this case, the all-accepted option of demanding compensation in case of personal defamation or seeking legal remedies by filing a case at Press Council Nepal has been ignored.