Nepali Journalist Compensated After Unfair Dismissal


The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) hails the compensation payment finally made to Ram Prasad

Dahal following his unfair dismissal from the Rajdhani daily in 2005, as a historic triumph for press freedom in



According to information received

from IFJ-affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Nepal (NUJ-N), Dahal

met with the Chairman of the media group that publishes the Rajdhani daily on July 18 2012, in the

presence of officials from the Bagmati Regional Labour Office in Kathmandu. The

amount decreed by Nepal’s Labour Court, as compensation due for unfair

dismissal, was paid to Dahal after the meeting. The settlement came after the Court

stipulated that the media group’s assets would be attached in the event of

continuing non-compliance with its decree.


Dahal’s services as chief

reporter with Rajdhani were

terminated in March 2005, following which he filed a writ petition with the

Court seeking remedy. He believes that he was sacked because of his political

beliefs and opposition to the absolute power held by the Nepali monarchy at the



In October 2006, the Court found

that Dahal had been not been dismissed in bad faith and without adequate cause and

ordered Mahendra Sherchan -  Chairman of

Utkarsha Publications and owner of Rajdhani – to reinstate Dahal to his position and pay him compensation and back

wages owed.


The ruling was not honoured and

in taking up the matter again this year, the Labour Court imposed a two month

prison sentence and a fine of NPR 5,000 (approximately USD 60 at prevalent

rates) on Sherchan.


Non-compliance by the media house

led to further Court issued penalties including the freezing of its assets. Dahal

meanwhile, chose not to pursue the Court order on his reinstatement since he

had secured employment elsewhere.


“We welcome the recent settlement

which is a major accomplishment for press freedom, journalistic integrity and

independence in Nepal”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.


“We hope that in terms of the

judicial interpretations of Nepal’s labour laws and the Working Journalists’ Act, the principles applied in Dahal’s case

will become a part of the established law in Nepal”.



further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950



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