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Nepali Congress warns of stalling Parliament proceedings over 'anti-press' bill

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

The main opposition party in on Sunday warned of

stalling if the government tried to pass a controversial bill that aims to curtail press freedom by imposing strict penalty on

"The government wants to curtail press freedom through the bill which is unacceptable. We will not allow the government to pass the bill," told reporters at here.

He said his party would stall if the ruling Communist Party of tried to pass the Media Council Bill.

"The bill that curtails press freedom and human rights has to be withdrawn. We will not let the bill pass at any cost," he said, adding that the party, however, would not resort to violence and vandalism to press the government to withdraw the bill.

The bill, proposed by K P Sharma Oli-led government, has provisions to impose a fine up to Rs 1 million on media outlets, editors, publishers and journalists if they were found "guilty of damaging someone's reputation".

The bill also stipulates that the Media Council (NMC) can order the erring parties to pay compensation if the content in damages the reputation of the affected party. It also proposes punishment for violating the code of conduct which includes suspending press pass of and downgrading the classification of

The bill has raised alarm among journalists who say that the government seeks to punish the press in the name of regulation.

Along with the NC, the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal is also planning to stall House proceedings to prevent the passage of the draft legislation, said Laxman Lal Karna, a of the Madhesi-based party.

Meanwhile, Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) has announced the second phase of protests against the Media Bill being tabled in the Parliament.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 19 2019. 19:50 IST