SHILLONG, March 9 - In a contempt of court case, a division bench of the Meghalaya High Court on Friday ruled that The Shillong Times Editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri sat in a corner of the courtroom till the court rose. The duo were also fined Rs 2 lakh each.
The division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir ruled that in the event of non-payment of the fine, they would have to undergo simple imprisonment of six months and the newspaper would be banned.
The division bench took the decision after the newspaper published a report with the headline, �When judges judge for themselves�. The report pertained to an order passed by Justice SR Sen who wanted several perks for retired chief justices, judges, their spouses and children.
The report drew parallel to an earlier order passed by two former judges of the Meghalaya High Court in 2016 before their retirement. The 2016 order was subsequently quashed by the Supreme Court.
�In exercise of the power vested on us by Article 215 of the Constitution of India, we sentence both the contemnors to sit in the corner of the court room till the rising of the court and impose a fine of Rs 2 lakh each which is to be deposited with the Registry within a week and then to be deposited in the welfare fund of this high court,� the bench ruled on Friday.
�We also further direct that in default of payment, both the contemnors will have to undergo six months simple imprisonment and the paper so called �Shillong Times� will automatically come to an end (banned),� the division bench ruled.
Earlier, when the report was published by The Shillong Times, a show cause notice was served on Mukhim and Chaudhuri as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the newspaper for publishing the article.
Justice SR Sen had said: �It is really shocking that the publisher and editor of the said newspaper without knowing the law or background of the case are making comments which are definitely derogatory to a judge who is handling the case as well as the entire fraternity of the judges.�