Kathmandu: The Supreme Court (SC) is set to preside over a crucial preliminary hearing on November 20 regarding the writ petitions filed against the government’s decision to ban TikTok, a widely used social networking site in Nepal.
A total of 10 writ petitions challenging the government’s TikTok ban have been submitted to the SC. Legal practitioners submitted these petitions on the first day the courts reopened after the Tihar holidays. The SC has scheduled the preliminary hearing for November 20 (Monday).
Prominent legal figures such as senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi, advocate Swagat Nepal, and others have individually filed writ petitions against the TikTok ban.
They argue that the government’s decision violates citizens’ freedom of opinion and expression, emphasizing the lack of a legal basis for such an abrupt ban.
The petitioners are demanding the annulment of the government’s decision and have also requested an interim order to immediately halt the implementation of the ban.
The controversy began when a Cabinet meeting on November 13 decided to ban TikTok, citing disruptions in family relations and social harmony.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal defended the decision, stating that it was made collaboratively by the ruling and opposition parties to prevent disharmony, distortion, and anarchy in society.
Leaders from various political parties have expressed mixed reactions to the ban.
Notably, social media users, including the mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Balendra Shah, have advocated for regulating TikTok instead of an outright ban.
Despite varied opinions, the government has stood firm on its decision, claiming that TikTok was misused to spread content jeopardizing social harmony and causing negative effects in individuals and society.