Guwahati, March 12, 2019:
The Indian Journalist Union (IJU) and the Editors Guild in its statement expressed deep distress over the Meghalaya High Court’s order in a contempt case against ‘The Shillong Times’ including its editor, Patricia Mukhim and its publisher, Shoba Chaudhuri for reporting the proceedings of the court.
The Meghalaya HC on March 8 held ‘The Shillong Time’s editor and publisher guilty in a contempt case, related to two reports published by the paper on December 6 and 10 on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families, and fined them Rs. 2 lakh each.
The Editor’s Guild in its statement said, “The order, which among other things imposes a fine along with a threat of imprisonment and a ban on the publication, is intimidatory and undermines press freedom. It is ironical that the judiciary which should uphold press freedom has instead issued an order that militates against freedom of expression.”
Meanwhile, the IJU on Monday in its statement to the member of the Press Council of India (PCI) and president of IJU Amar Devulapalli and General Secretary Inderjit said, “It is unfortunate that the high court refused to accept the technical objections of their lawyers and an unconditional apology by the editor and publisher proceed to punish them.”
It further said, “After reading the impugned news story, we did not find any malice in it. However, we feel, the reporter should have been more careful in the choice of words. It seems, the reaction of the court is disproportionate to the cause of contempt.”