As the new actor in political field making waves, Balen Shah has created waves from Day 1. It put all the major old political parties on notice, and now, it is clear that even the supposedly independent branch the court has been affected. The Supreme Court just issued an order to Balen Shah on a contempt charge.
When I wrote last time about Balen’s bulldozing policy against the ordinary shop keepers, his inability to repeat the same policy against bigwigs like the Norvic Hospital, alleged to have encroached upon public land for its laboratory facility. The learned and the more powerful have their own set of nexus, and know how to proceed. The Hospital filed a motion and the Court ordered not to remove the hospital structure. This is, of course, a normal procedure in a supposedly democratic society of check and balance between the three branches of the government, and an impartial informed media acting as an unofficial fourth branch.
So, Balen let his frustration out in Facebook by posting his status as thus:
“I would like to request for an amendment to the constitution to give the Supreme Court all the authority related to approving the building design and taking action against illegal constructions.”
He was expressing his opinion that Supreme Court should stay away from the Municipality business of acting against the perpetual encroachment and an illegal business-bureaucrat nexus that has been fleecing the nation for decades without any consequences. The situation has become unbearable and unjustified for informed public, so someone like Balen would be determined to right those unjustified and immoral theft of the public. Unfortunately, the other norm of due process in a democratic society came as a hindrance, and to show his young hot blood, he did not stop to fathom a new strategy or give himself some time for contemplation, and took to the social media.
So, the Court took his frustration as a contempt of its decision, and we now have to wait and see what happens. In a larger context, this justice and fairness of convenience and the democracy of Nepal that is of the powerful, by the powerful for the powerful it has long been apparent to the people that this society is not based on justice for all and everyone being equal in the eyes of law.
What is funny and ironic in this case is the charging a contempt of court against an activist. Who is really not upholding the respect for law and order, and making sure that justice prevails in our society? More than anyone else, it is the people in the legal profession – from the Supreme Court Chief Justice to majority of lawyers. Shall we just forget that the current government of Nepal itself is known as the “paramadesh Sarkar?” Who has crossed the line in upholding the foundation of justice and ensuring that people have faith in the court?
उहाले आफ्नै नक्सा मलाइ माग्नु भयो ।
मैले अफिस गएर नक्सा र डोजर लिएर गए ।
मैले के बिराए ।
अब उपरान्त यस्तो गर्न नपरोस , सबैले आफै बुझेर अबैधानिकरुप मा बनाइएको सम्रचना हटाइ दिनु होला । नक्सा जसरी पास भएको छ , त्यहि अनुसार बनाइ दिनु होला । pic.twitter.com/RWP0FtZPYe
— Balen Shah (@ShahBalen) August 25, 2022
It is a sad fact that ordinary people do not have faith in the court. So, is it just to charge a frustrated political activist?
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.