Manoj Pandit wrote a review of Richa Ghimire‘s movie Brakefail. He wrote – "Richa didn’t look like an heroine in the movie," and published it in a website. Richa got angry, and complained to the police, who arrested Manoj. He admitted his "mistake" in getting personal about the actress. Nagarik published the issue and it was made public.
In the article, Richa claimed that the website, Merocinema, wrote the negative review because of the fact that she refused to provide an advertisement to it. She also told, only NJA designated journalists should write movie reviews – all others should only write positive things.
Merocinema is one of the few websites that write about Nepali movies. In a review of film related websites, last year, I was positive on it’s future potential. But, the reviews it publishes seem to be influenced by personal biasness. Last time, when they wrote about the Nepali superstar, Rajesh Hamal they were highly critical. In response, our friend Curiouslady suspected that Hamal was made a victim by the website.
Manoj Pandit "thanked Richa" in his Facebook profile:
Thanks to the actress who helped me to get the space that I couldn’t get doing some very important work for nation: front page news on one of the popular newspaper of Nepal. I wrote it with my true conscience and i stick with it. I was generous to her for her personal losses.
The review had questioned about the values of heroine but she took it so personal that she acted without reviewing herself. Nepali cinema needs to review itself and restructure its values otherwise we will be counted on the line of night dancers..
We must accept the fact that we are in crisis where we shouldn’t avoid critically analysis of our problem..we are only trying to do so..hope it will help Nepali cinema to get its dignity
Richa Ghimire wanted to "legalize" all the websites:
I am glad that Manoj Pandit at least have courage to say i made a mistake, sorry, tht shows his dignity,, i ( Richa Ghimire) have no intention to punish him n close the website I only wanted to warn them. We have sorted it out in a friendly environment. Now onwards this is my humble request to all my online journalist frens to be positive towards Nepali film fraternity. And go for legal procedure as lots of web sites have not been legalized I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO THANK …CDO office, lawyer Ramesh Koirala, Suchana Bibhag, Shankar Ghimire, Raju Thapa, Bimlesh Adhikari and DSP Aabhushan Timsina.thx.
In response to an article on the Manoj-Richa case (Nepali) Richa replied that the issue wasn’t about personal accusation but, about "the website being illegal".
The question arises, how can the website be illegal?
Can website be illegal ?
The only cyber law in Nepal that defines what can be published and what can’t be published in a website is defined by "The Electronic Transaction Act 2063 (2008)." The section 47 of the law states:
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.
That means a website can not be illegal in itself – but a post can be illegal and is subjected to punishment. Nepal government doesn’t require websites to register. Even if they require to register, registering all the websites is not possible.